The Newsletter 72 Autumn 2015

The new ASEAN scholar

Trasvin Jittidecharak

This is how a young Thai university lecturer in Bangkok spends her semester. She teaches six hours a week in two undergraduate classes and one graduate class. She advises a couple of PhD students. She works on two research projects. She serves as advisor to more than ten undergrad senior-year Thai students and about twenty students in the international program. She provides advice to any students who need it, whether or not they are assigned to her, and she writes reference letters for them when requested. Her workload extends beyond her own university. She serves as thesis advisor to grad students from other Thai and foreign universities. I suspect that all Thai lecturers have similar responsibilities, although the number of students that they assist may vary. Add to this workload the daily commute of two to three hours through the city’s traffic gridlock and one wonders how Bangkok academics even find time to do research.