Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wilert Puriwat, Dean of Chulalongkorn Business School (CBS), notes that the COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand affected the quality of learning at large as educational institutes were simply not prepared for a crisis. The CBS, on the other hand, was able to manage the crisis successfully thanks its strong fundamentals and the digital transformation it had undertaken before the spread of the virus.
Nowadays, learning is not limited to the classroom as students can easily pursue additional knowledge via the cyber world. CBS has taken this concept further by introducing the CBS Lifeline Learning model that connects offline and online systems to create learning activities anywhere. It aims to strengthen efficiency in learning and serve as a model for the new era that meets international standards.
“We have to go further than just the development of an effective platform and change the mindset of students, convincing them that learning cannot be obtained just in the classroom or online but all the time and everywhere including at home, while using mass transit or through social media. Our goal is to build a learning culture where students are enthusiastic about learning all the time and not just in following education programs."
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wilert notes that the CBS remains the country’s leading school for international programs, both for bachelor and master degrees. This year, the number of applicants was almost 3 times higher than admissions last year, partly because COVID-19 has made it difficult for Thai students to go abroad and they have therefore opted for the CBS.
“Notably, the CBS attracts talented students to its international programs. Exams for admission to the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) saw the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) attain a new high with scores of 1,560, which is the top score in Thailand and qualifies the student to apply for admission to the world's leading universities,” he says.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wilert adds that the new learning model will support well-known professors from leading global universities including Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford, and Oxford in engaging more easily in teaching courses online at both the bachelor and master levels. Formerly, it has been difficult to invite them to lecture as they needed at least one week for each trip and this proved expensive for the CBS.
“Today, the CBS is not just an institution offering both an offline and online system, but a symbol of lifeline learning to develop life values anywhere and at any time.”
The CBS is also emphasizing safe learning under the New Normal through the CBS Safe Haven Model that ensures students are protected from infection. The school follows the public health measures to prevent virus transmission including distribution of free face shields and masks to all students. In addition, the school recently signed a memorandum of understanding with CT Asia Robotics Co., Ltd., to support "Banchee Robotics", a system capable of spraying disinfectant and conducting body temperature checks at screening spots.
Earlier, the CBS partnered with Dhipaya Insurance to offer students and staff insurance with special coverage for the treatment of COVID-19. This had been in effect since March 2020.
Additionally, the CBS has signed an MoU with Com 7 Public Company Limited, a leading IT retailer, to support online learning. Under the agreement, the company will contribute 20 computers to the school and offer students the opportunity to borrow, rent or purchase on installments or at a special price. Some classrooms and the library have also been redesigned as co-working spaces, allowing students to study online conveniently.
In addition to developing the quality of teaching and learning, the CBS has continued to encourage students to make social contributions through various projects, among them the CBA (Chulalongkorn Business Administration), an internship program that allows students to operate a real business enterprise. The project is expected to produce students with the capacity to conduct business and return the profits to society in form of social and environmental activities.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wilert added that the CBS would sign an MoU with the Office of SMEs Promotion to allow students to help SMEs develop business plans in the digital age. It will also team up with Siam Piwat Co., Ltd., so that students can help small vendors at IconSiam’s Sook Siam Zone, who have been severely affected by the pandemic, to create marketing and sales strategies..
“The CBS crisis management based on 'the Safe Haven for Lifeline Learning’ model ensures that the school is not only on par with international learning standards, but underlines CBS’s position as the most excellent management school of the Thai people,” he concluded.