Thammasat University Rector on how universities can adapt to Gen Z students

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Associate Professor Gasinee Witoonchart, Rector of Thammasat University, says that Gen Z was identified as those born during 1997-2012 which is the era where technology completely changed the way of life in all aspects.

“Thai universities must consider carefully because these people will be new members of the university system. They expect new experiences and require new competencies to cope or live in a changing world,” Professor Gasinee says.

“Universities, which include all organizations, must first change their mindset in educational management. We need to understand that Gen Z people will be sceptical about university system. Universities are no longer the “choice”.”

“University administrators must have the courage to change, select people who are ready to change and reject those who refuse to change in order to move forward. The provided courses must be beneficial for a future career. Students do not care whether it is a public or private university as long as they are guaranteed that they will be able to make a living in the future,” Professor Gasinee adds.

“Universities then need to build an image and communication channel for this generation who has escaped from the obsolete world which includes teaching methods and teachers. This generation expects a classroom that combines a variety of technologies, including textbooks, online videos, VR and AR technologies, using games and new techniques for learning as well as interaction with peers across the university through various online media.”

Professor Gasinee adds that universities must have good measures to support Gen Z people who grew up in an era that accepts diversity in society.

In addition, the convenience of online learning and contact with digital technology at the cost of a lack of human touch and close contact will cause this generation to face more stress than the previous generation. Mental health problems are therefore a problem that universities must handle properly. Professor Gasinee explains that there are agencies that are available to help.

“We can create an extensive communication channel with a wide range of supportive activities and therapies to reduce stress for Gen Z and make them feel like they are not left alone.”

“There are still many challenges from Gen Z that have an impact on education that will be discussed in the future, but currently, universities need to consider and adapt themselves to meet the new expectations and move towards that can answer the needs of Gen Z and the next generation. Otherwise, the university system would be depreciated as a place that issues a certificate,” the Rector concludes.