Graduate School of Commerce, Burapha University, Thailand

I. The ABEST21 Comprehensive Review

1. ABEST21 Accreditation Result

“ABEST21 (THE ALLIANCE ON BUSINESS EDUCATION AND SCHOLARSHIP FOR TOMORROW, a 21st century organization) hereby certifies that MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM of the GRADUATE SCHOOL OF COMMERCE, BURAPHA UNIVERSITY, KINGDOM OF THAILAND has generally met ABEST21 Management Accreditation Standards and the quality maintenance and improvement of education and research in the aforementioned program are promising and good. Accreditation commences April 1, 2019 for a five-year period.”

2. Comprehensive Review
  • The School puts good effort in developing its Ex-MBA program and improving it based on various stakeholders’ feedback and inputs.
  • However, some explanations in the School’s report still do not directly correspond to the standards.
  • The School should review the whole document rather than just adding explanations based on PRT comment.
  • There are many things that have been done by the School and it can be seen from the document, but the writing is not systematic so it is not easy to conclude that the School is performing all these programs in a systematical and timely manner.
  • The School should describe how it addresses each criterion in a systematic manner, with PDCA cycles for example.
  • The descriptions / answers for each criterion should be concise and precise. They should directly answer the question or concern for the criteria.
  • The report is focused mainly on the improvement of education which appears to be well planned and implemented. However, it does not mention much on Research Environment. The School may have actions in this area, but these are not reported. It would be good if the School presents more details on Research Environment.
  • The School must show that their curriculum and program already consider the latest economic, social and cultural globalization developments such as Industrial Revolution 4.0 and others.
  • The School should consider recruiting more international students and faculty members and intensifying its internationalization activities.
3. Good Practice in Management Education

1) Title of Good Practice in Management Education

Curriculum Development to meet the needs of the School’s stakeholders

2) Reason for selecting the title stated above

The School demonstrated its best effort to provide good education to its students and to bring its program to the international quality level.

4. Matter to be noted
  • It will be best if the School could provide a strategic plan document or a long term plan document that will lead to action plan, with objectives, output and target KPI for each action plan.
  • Check and rectify the grammar and typos in the report.
5. The Peer Review Team
Leader Dr. Hen Kai Wah
Faculty of Accountancy and Management, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia
Member Dr. Pichayalak Pichayakul
Faculty of Business Administration, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Member Dr. Danaipong Chetchotsak
College of Graduate Study in Management, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
Member Dr. Yasmine Nasution
Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia
6. The Peer Review Schedule
Process Committee Date
Ratification of the ABEST21 Accreditation Board of Trustees Mar. 7, 2019
Recommendation of the ABEST21 Accreditation Accreditation Committee Mar. 7, 2019
Ratification of the PRT Review Report Peer Review Committee Mar. 6, 2019
Ratification of the Self-Evaluation Report Peer Review Committee Nov. 1, 2018
Implementation of the Peer Review Visit Peer Review Team Sep.14-15, 2018
Submission of the Self-Evaluation Report Jun. 30, 2018
Ratification of the Quality Improvement Plan Peer Review Committee Nov. 25, 2017
Submission of the Quality Improvement Plan Jun. 30, 2017

II. PRT Comments on the Self-Check/Self-Evaluation Analysis

1. The School’s Mission Statement and Strategies

1) The School’s Mission Statement

The School, Graduate School of Commerce (GSC) has set a Vision of a 20-year strategic plan as follows: “Developing graduates with a morality, knowledge and skillfulness towards ASEAN Community”.
GSC currently changes its Vision to be “an organization of graduate study with excellent academic quality of the region, developing the capability of executives with leadership of sacrifice, integrity and be able to create innovative knowledge of organizational management to support economic and social development for stability, prosperity and sustainability of the country and well-known in the international academic societies.”
GSC Executive MBA Program Vision is to “develop business executives with innovative business knowledge, modern management skills, leadership, morality, sacrifices, public spirits and public mind for the sake of stability, prosperity and sustainability in the ASEAN and international communities.”
GSC Executive MBA Program (GSC Ex-MBA) vision is aligned with GSC (the School)’s vision. It already covers international collaboration aspect.

2) The School’s Strategies for Quality Improvement

Strategy 1 – Develop curriculum and education management to meet the needs of The Asian Society of Business Administrators, with detailed strategies as follows:
1. Develop a process for selecting potential learners
2. Develop a master plan to meet the needs of the public and private sector and both domestic and foreign industries
3. Create happy and supportive learning environment to build skills, leadership, morality, public mind and spirit of sacrifice and social responsibility.
Strategy 2 – Provide academic services, promote social activities and maintain the Thai culture to remain in the ASEAN community. This strategy implies encouraging current students, alumni and all the staff to be aware of the environment, religion, art and culture, to develop the identity of the GSC Ex-MBA graduates based on understanding that “managers must have leadership, spiritual sacrifice, and be healthy”. This strategy promotes the School’s social activities towards sustainability, especially in the emerging markets such as Thailand and the Asian markets.
Strategy 3 – Encourage administrative reform of the GSC Ex-MBA program to optimize and support the educational situation and industry change. Detailed strategy for this is to create and develop the MBA Program for Executives combining core knowledge and wisdom of the Eastern Thailand with excellence in business administration for sustainability.
Strategy 4 – Promote and create academic cooperation both domestic and overseas institutions to meet society’s needs, with detailed strategy as follows:
1. Promote and foster collaborative research and academic services with public, private and industrial sectors both inside and outside ASEAN and in Asia
2. Empower research to create and pioneer new knowledge in business administration.
The School has clear strategies backed up by sound operational guidelines.
The School has good strategies that cover not only the curriculum but also student, lecturer, stakeholder and cooperation aspects. These strategies consider not only the curriculum but also attracting potential learners and developing a good learning environment.

3) Humanizing the School’s Management Education

The School shows its sincerity to embrace differences of cultures and nationalities. The School has many activities conductive to humanizing its management education. However, the explanation provided does not describe the whole system systematically. For example, it only explains one part of the PDCA, which is planning (P), but is not followed by DCA.

4) Collaborating with Industries in Management Education

The School showed some solid examples of its collaboration with companies such as Chaipattana Foundation, Bayer Thai Co., Ltd. and Thai Beverage Public Company Limited which are leading organizations in Thailand. This improves the quality of curriculum and provides professional knowledge to the students. The collaboration also provides benefits for society and industry through knowledge and expertise. However, this section could be described more systematically.

5) Globalizing the School’s Management Education

The School showed its efforts in globalizing its management education across various dimensions. The areas of involvement include near and far territories. The near territories are, for example, the support of Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate and student exchange among ASEAN countries. The far territories are ASEAN+C+I symposium, and exchange program in collaboration with universities in France and China. It involves not only faculty members but also students. The global collaboration includes teaching and research program between public and private organizations. The School has to encourage students and faculty members to fully utilize all the programs that are available, and develop other programs and collaborations that can increase the globalization of the School.

2. The School’s Educational and Research Activities

Chapter 1 Internal Quality Assurance

Standard 1: Administration and Governance

  • The School has appointed a committee to supervise and operationalize Ex-MBA program.
  • The School has committee meetings for Ex-MBA and faculty members twice a semester, but more meetings are required to resolve issues on time.
  • The School has periodically disclosed the performance of the management of Ex-MBA to the committee, lecturers and Board.
  • The School has an appropriate administrative team to manage the education and research activities.
  • There is a clear governance system and mechanism in place which ensures fairness and transparency.
  • Currently, there are various external evaluation systems in place such as Internal Quality Assessment Board from Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) (yearly), External Quality Assessment Board from Office of Standards and Quality Assessment (every 5 years) and international quality assessment agency (ABEST21).
  • Administrative operations are reviewed systematically and periodically

The report mentioned the need to set KPIs to measure the performance of the program. It is suggested that the School focuses on a few goals and sets its KPIs based on those goals so that it can move forward in a well-focused direction.

Standard 2: Self-Check/Self-Evaluation

  • The School has a curriculum management system to review the curriculum periodically every 5 years as required by the government.
  • The results of the Internal and External Quality Assurance have been reported to the University, and then to Education Ministry for endorsement and publicity.
  • The School uses the result of the Internal Quality Assessment and stakeholders’ feedback to improve the quality of education management.
  • The School reported that it discloses the analysis of self-evaluation to its stakeholders via communication and publications such as annual report, IQA and EQA reports.

It is suggested that the analysis of self-evaluation is periodically disclosed to stakeholders through newsletter or bulletin. This is also to provide information for stakeholders regarding continuous improvement. Currently, the School is exploring a system to collect feedback from stakeholders via online channels.

Standard 3: Improvement of Education and Research Environment

  • The report is focused mainly on the improvement of education which appears to be well planned and implemented. However, it does not mention much on Research Environment. The School may have actions in this area, but these are not reported. It would be good if the School presents more details on Research Environment.
  • The School has a detailed guideline on solving the problems of self-check/self-evaluation.
  • The explanation does not show how the School checks the progress of its action plan to solve issues. For example, is there a monthly or semester report regarding the results of its action plan, or is there any regular meeting to discuss the implementation of action plan, etc.

Chapter 2 Mission Statement

Standard 4: Mission Statement

  • The School has shown the new vision and mission statements.
  • The report mentioned that the process of reviewing vision and mission statement is yet to be systematized and aligned with the changing environment. The School should take action on this issue quickly.
  • The School’s mission implies nurturing skilled professionals in management that can meet the needs of globalization.
  • The School’s mission already considers the views of various stakeholders. However, it does not clearly explain what are the channels used to collect feedback and inputs from stakeholders in developing the mission statement.
  • The School communicates its vision and mission statements via various channels such as brochures, student manuals, websites, social media tools and events.
  • The School shows effort to improve its system in collecting information from various stakeholders. It needs to be carried out on a consistent basis.

Standard 5: Mission Imperatives

  • The School mentioned that its mission statement already implies that it meets the social demands of the age of economic, social and cultural globalization. However, it must show that their curriculum and program already consider the latest economic, social and cultural globalization developments such as Industrial Revolution 4.0 and others.
  • The School’s Ex-MBA mission statements are well aligned with the mission statements of the University and the School.
  • The School’s mission statements emphasize developing relevant and required knowledge in the realm of management, and support of the students’ career development.
  • The School has set its 20 years’ mission statement, and it also realized that it should review and update its mission during these 20 years. It is suggested that the School sets a routine schedule of reviewing, for example, having a review meeting every year and inviting its internal and external stakeholders to participate in the meeting. Even though there are some concerns, the School already realized the issues to be improved and had already thought about the ways to take action.

Standard 6: Financial Strategies

  • The School is a non-profit organisation and a self-support school. Its major source of financial funding is from the educational and academic services such as tuition fees, academic services, research, donation, investments and facilities’ rentals.
  • The School has developed its short-term and long-term financial strategies to ensure its financial position is sound.
  • Financial strategies are supervised closely by the School’s Board and the University’s Council, with emphasize the philosophy of Sufficient Economy.

Chapter 3 Educational Programs

Standard 7: Learning Goals

  • The School’s Program has set the learning goals for both the academic curriculum and extra-curricular activities.
  • These learning goals are mentioned in the syllabi and brochure, being reviewed on a regular basis, and well-communicated to the students, teachers, and staff.
  • The School uses social media and online applications as a communication medium which seems to work well.
  • The School needs to explain systematically on the processes involved in setting of the learning goals.
  • Relevant stakeholders were invited to discussion panels to discuss about the curriculum mapping.
  • The School plans to promote and support stakeholders’ opinion via online channels on regular basis.
  • The learning goals are reviewed on a regular basis.

Standard 8: Curriculum Policy

  • The School has defined its curriculum policy, curriculum development and review processes involving its stakeholders, and also reviews its policy on a regular basis.
  • The School reviews the curriculum periodically every 5 years or if there is issue that needs to be addressed.

Standard 9: Management of Curriculum

  • he School has curriculum design based on curriculum policy, stakeholder views and student’s performance which is in line with the mission statements and objectives.
  • The Program (Ex-MBA) has a total of 45 credits for a duration of 2 academic years which consist of 3 semesters per year.
  • The School develops programs that will give students insights about industry and real life problems. The School could create other program to give students more knowledge about business practices.
  • The curriculum includes core courses for management education and research, and is being reviewed on a regular basis and systematically.
  • Various educational methods are being utilized.
  • The School’s Ex-MBA provides distance education with in-class video recording, with plans to expand to online MBA.

Standard 10: Improvement of Educational Quality

  • he School provides support system for students (Teaching Assistant/Academic Consultant from graduate or alumni) and lecturers to maintain an environment conducive to learning and teaching.
  • The School has good educational facilities, such as classrooms, online library, textbooks, case studies, etc. The schedule, syllabi, grading system, communication system, and students’ record management seem to be in place.
  • It is notable that the School is planning to provide digital learning system in the near future which is a very good idea in this present day.
  • In addition, it also provides a sufficient number of academic advisors to the students. The study schedule is well planned.
  • The grading system is standard.
  • The communication between teachers and students seemed to be effective in terms of course content and other issues such as grading criteria, expected learning outcome, and syllabus distribution, etc.
  • The School provides shortened programs (Potential MBA, Pocket MBA, Mini MBA, Micro MBA, Pre-MBA and Post-MBA) for the students to improve their knowledge. This should be supported with advisor for the students so that they can understand their level of knowledge and what kind of program is suitable for them.

Standard 11: Diploma Policy

The School has met the standard.

  • The School has yet to establish diploma policy.
  • The School is planning to have a diploma policy as well as credit transfer system for its current students, alumni and other participants.
  • GSC Ex-MBA surveyed industry, government, current students and alumni to gather the information regarding customer needs for defining diploma policy.

Standard 12: Learning Outcomes’ Review

  • Learning outcomes are examined by committee. The School is planning to expand the role and responsibility of the committee to also examine other aspects such as career advancement of the student.
  • Periodical review and assessment is carried out to examine the learning outcomes.
  • The School has conducted a survey of the graduates. In the future the School needs to think how to increase the response rate of the survey and improve its distribution mechanism.
  • The School did not show if it has already reviewed the learning goals based on the examination of learning outcomes. However, the School mentions that it will need additional assessment methods to review student learning outcomes.
  • The School mentioned that the result of review assessment and evaluation of student learning outcomes will be used by committee chair and program committees to review program achievement for next semester.
  • The School shows that it understands the importance of the learning outcomes and is seeking the ways to improve the management of it.
  • The School uses student learning outcomes as an information to review the learning goals and programs. The assessment will be conducted by committee appointed by the School.

Standard 13: Globalization of Educational Programs

  • All lecturers have to include the global context into their course content.
  • To foster globalization of educational programs and to give insights regarding the global context, the School uses international and national conferences and regularly invites guest speakers from industry, entrepreneurs and government representatives.
  • The School is planning to bring in foreign teachers into the program which is a good idea to promote globalization of educational program.
  • Currently, the School encourages students to think globally, for example, to take international issues as research questions.
  • The School shows its effort to enhance this matter.

Chapter 4 Students

Standard 14: Student Profile

  • The School has no issue on taking in students with specified background.
  • However, the major concern is the decreasing numbers of the current students (from 447 in 2015, 257 in 2016, and down to 121 in 2017). This reduction is due to the strict order and monitoring from the Higher Education Commission which require the School to strictly follow the lecturer-student ratio of 1: 15.
  • The School explains the student selection processes and criteria for recruitment. The admission policy is reviewed periodically.
  • All applicants are being interviewed by the ex-MBA committee.

Standard 15: Admission Policy

  • The School has a committee to take care of the admission policy, including revisions.
  • The policy is strictly followed.
  • Fair opportunities are given to all applicants in the selection process.

Standard 16: Student Selection

  • Clear student selection criteria and methods are in place.
  • The School reported that it uses interview method to select the qualified applicants, and the committee is monitoring the process.
  • Fair opportunities are given to all applicants in the selection process.
  • The selection criteria and methods are being reviewed from time to time.

Standard 17: Student Support

  • The School allocates its funding to support the activities useful for the students such as seminars.
  • In addition, it also supports students on other dimensions such as providing academic and career guidance through several media such as Line Application group.
  • It also provides lifestyle support to handicapped and international students.
  • The Program committee holds routine meetings to monitor and review the matters regarding students support.
  • This standard is well met.

Standard 18: Student Incentive

  • The School has a policy to grant “Dean’s Award” and “President’s Award” to the students with good GPA.
  • Other acknowledgement is also provided for students who make a good social contribution.
  • To help students who face difficulties in studying, the School provides video tape recording for those who could not attend class. The School shall consider other issues that cause difficulties in studying as well, for example some students may not perform well in math-related classes, and in this case the School may consider providing extra assistance to them.
  • Support for students is also provided by the academic advisor.

Standard 19: Student Diversity

  • The School actively encourages students to join seminars and field trips abroad. However, it did not provide any examples of the global activities.
  • Although the School has few international students from neighboring countries, the Ex-MBA classes are still mainly conducted in Thai language. However, the School reported that it is well aware of this matter and plans for a bi-lingual program in the future.
  • As such, the School is still not diverse in terms of student body. It tries to increase diversity in other ways such as using more English in class and networking with foreign universities. This standard needs to be taken into consideration and action has to be taken soon.
  • There is financial support provided for research seminars and filed trips which will be reviewed by GSC Ex-MBA Committee and CSB Board.
  • The School provides support for students who would like to experience global exposure. However language barrier may be an issue for foreign students to be involved in this program.
  • The School should provide examples of its student exchange program / mobility program.

Chapter 5 Faculty

Standard 20: Faculty Structure

  • The School has a sufficient number of faculty members and also encouraging them to apply for higher academic ranks.
  • It is notable that the majority of the Participating faculty members are in the age range of 40-49 years old (14 out of a total of 25 members). The School may need a long-term plan of how to deal with this issue when these members retire at the same time.
  • The School has Fast-Track committee to look into the promotion of the academic staff.
  • The School should encourage faculty members to get practical exposure, or get new faculty members that come from industry.
  • In addition, it is also observed that the School has no foreign lecturers. The School acknowledges this issue and seeks the ways to address it.
  • This standard needs some improvement.

Standard 21: Faculty Qualifications

  • The School’s faculty members have appropriate qualification and expertise in their specific fields.
  • The School also invites industry experts to assist in teaching.
  • The University has standard rules and criteria for recruiting and promoting faculty members.
  • The overall research performance is good, all of the members produced more than 3 publications in the past 5 years, and some have as many as 41 research achievements.
  • The performance evaluation also being conducted systematically and regularly.

Standard 22: Maintenance of Education and Research Environment

  • The School has arranged workload for the faculty members so that they can balance their activities between teaching, research, and other.
  • Research funding and publication incentives are available to faculty members who show good performance based on criteria/indicators set up by the School.
  • In addition, the School it also networking with other universities to co-organize academic conferences. This enhances the School’s research.
  • The School provides administrative support for faculty members so that they can effectively and efficiently pursue their teaching and research program.
  • Moreover, the School has a sabbatical policy, with a lecturer being granted 1 semester leave to do research in China.

Standard 23: Responsibilities of Faculty Members

  • The educational system in Thailand is regulated by the Office of Higher Education, and all programs must follow the TQF system. Therefore, all faculty members have to plan and report their course works based on the TQF system.
  • Faculty members are responsible for both teaching in class and producing teaching materials. These are updated to cover current issues in the industry.
  • In addition, faculty members have to be responsive to their students, for example set office hours to get consultation time to the students. Faculty members use various communication channels so that students can interact with them freely in order to increase the quality of learning.
  • The School is doing well in this standard.

Standard 24: Faculty Diversity

  • The School’s faculty members have various areas of expertise and the School continues to diversify its faculty body in terms of expertise. This includes recruiting lecturers in the area of Technology and Innovation.
  • In the future the School plans to expand its network of local or foreign institutions to invite guest speakers who can add knowledge and insights for the faculty members and students.
  • Another thing to focus on is inviting guest lecturers from other countries.
  • The School should consider recruiting foreign academic staff in the near future.

Chapter 6 Educational Infrastructure

Standard 25: Educational Infrastructure

  • The School has adequate educational infrastructure for faculty members and students to support learning and research environment.
  • Classrooms are adequate for teaching and learning.
  • Adequate offline and online resources are available for teaching and learning.
  • Each full-time faculty member is provided with individual office and joint research room (Think-Tank room) that can be used for discussion and collaboration.

Standard 26: Globalization of Educational Infrastructure

  • The School provides special facilities for international students with different backgrounds, cultural and religious.
  • There is a dormitory for international students.
  • The School provides religious facilities for students with different cultural backgrounds.
  • Educational infrastructure for international students or students from different background is adequate.

III. “The School’s Quality Improvement Plan” Review

1. The School’s Quality Improvement System

The School has been continuously assessing and improving on 7 dimensions as follows:

  • Monitoring
  • Graduate quality
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Program
  • Staff
  • Infrastructure.

From the report, the School had analyzed its improvement issues thoroughly via PDCA cycle, and the ways for improvement are practical and reasonable.

2. The School’s Improvement Issues

[PRT Comments]
The School has some improvement issues in internal quality assurance, mission statement, educational programs, students, faculty and educational infrastructure.
Among the improvement issues highlighted by the School are:

  • Harmonizing various quality assurance standards.
  • Including internationalization activities and collaboration into the new mission statement of the School.
  • Improving communication with various stakeholders to get feedback on curriculum management and quality of the program and graduates.
  • Students’ performance needs to be aligned with the identity of the School.
  • Increasing social impact of the faculty’s research.
  • The academic service of some support staff members is not excellent.
  • Information system and learning support system are not up-to-date.

The School is able to explain what is to be done in these areas in order to meet the needs of stakeholders, accomplish the new vision and mission, and continuously improve education quality.

3. The School’s Improvement Initiatives

The School improvement initiative is trying to fulfill several quality assurance standards. Not only the School is trying to improve the quality of education by standards required by external institution (AUNQA, ONESQA, ABEST21) but also by internal requirement from university (CUPT).

4. The School’s Action Plans for three years
  • The School has developed its 3 years’ action plan.
  • It is suggested that the School identifies KPIs for each plan so that the achievement can be measured and the PDCA system will be clear and effective.
  • The explanation of action plan in the revised report only discusses what kind of actions is planned for each aspect such as mission, educational program, students, faculty, etc. There should be another explanation regarding objectives, output and target KPIs for each action plan.