Porntip Kanjananiyot, (Ms.)
Thailand-United States Educational Foundation (TUSEF)
The complicated and ever increasingly mobile world leads a louder call for global competence, encompassing understanding of diversity as part of effective intercultural communication in addition to technical and professional capabilities.
While it would seem that many countries could be ‘patterned’ with western influences dominating all the cultures, greater emphasis has been placed on retention of national identity and cultural heritage. Examples of efforts being made in Thai higher education and Fulbright Thailand will be provided.
The author will also discuss a broader meaning of ‘diversity’, defined by Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award of the U.S. Increased understanding of cultural diversity could not only be a solid base to move onto another stage of intellectual exchanges. Academics will stand proud of their nations with heightened abilities to bring the best out of the environments surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds, leading to a more creativity and innovation-driven community, a crucial component of universities of today and tomorrow.
Attempts will be made to suggest what the education circle should do for enhanced abilities of Thai faculty and students to see the world from other people’s perspectives. The proposed actions include ‘flexystem’ of exchanges of staff and students, ‘fun’ knowledge management, and ‘frame-free’ thinking.