U. of Hawaii signs research deal with Khon Kaen University

Khon Kaen University, one of the leading academic institutions in northeastern Thailand signed an agreement with the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii to expand collaborative academic and research projects in Thailand, becoming the fifth Thai university to forge research agreements with the American school.

“One great aspect about these international ties is that we can share intellectual and professional ideas in a true academic format. It helps us offer a broader global experience for everyone,” said Carolyn Ma, dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP).

Thailand has a strong public health system and has successfully carried out testing of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on a large scale, along with many other types of medical research. Khon Kaen University (KKU) was founded in 1966 and is the largest and oldest university in northeastern Thailand, the most populous region of the country.

KKU already has international collaborations with 18 universities and academic institutions in seven countries. The collaboration with DKICP would be its first with a U.S. learning institution. KKU provides instruction to a student body of nearly 35,000.

Ma said the two universities would jointly develop activities that meet their academic and educational needs. These could include the exchange of research materials, support for distance learning courses, organization of joint research programs and the exchange of students, faculty and staff.

“Multiple student and faculty exchanges and visiting lecturers help us broaden our reputation for global pharmacy education and helps our students gain international, inter-professional perspectives both culturally and educationally,” Ma said.

“Mutual benefits include research collaboration projects, practice and innovation collaborations, and faculty and preceptor development programs,” she added.

The idea for the collaboration came about when Ma visited the Kingdom to participate in the 2016 U.S.-Thai Consortium for Pharmacy Education in Thailand. During that trip she toured several cities with DKICP Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit. They met with faculty, staff, and students from colleges of pharmacy from Thailand and the U.S.

“When DKICP became a member of the U.S.-Thai Consortium in 2014, we committed to active involvement with colleges of pharmacy in order to give and receive the most out of our interactions,” Supakit said.

“It allows us not only to collaborate with our Thai partners but also to increase associations with top U.S. schools.  The momentum we generate is a good direction for our students and faculty as well as for the visibility of University of Hawaii,” he added.

Photo courtesy of UHHilo