A university in Thailand has been employing a gun-carrying psychopath to teach Buddhist philosophy. Everybody in the business knows that university standards are dropping but Phranakhon Rajabhat University in Thailand reached an all time low when Dr. Wanchai Danaitamonut shot dead two other lecturers in the University’s Buddhist philosophy building. Later Wanchai spent six hours on YouTube before shooting himself in the head. His keen understanding of Buddhism and his profound grasp of philosophy will be a great loss to the academic world.
No doubt his students are mortified. It costs a Thai student about 25,000 USD to get a University Degree, which is a lot in a country where the average wage is less than 10 USD a day. For this they get taught by the likes of wacky Wanchai. Still they have to do it, because in modern Thailand you need a University degree to get a job working a cash register or cleaning floors. The University administrators are fond of spending vast amounts of money on huge concrete buildings that look like second world war fortifications. Which means there is little money available for teachers pay. So, the only people who work as lecturers are those that are skilled in the art of corruption, idiots or loonies. The events at Rajabhat come as no surprise to Private Tye.
Wanchai shot and killed Dr Pichai Chaisongkram and Dr Natthapol over a job dispute. The university was about to open a new learning course for masters degree program students and Wanchai has supposed to be the head. However, Wanchai was removed from the post after Pichai made a bid for the designation. An initial probe revealed that Pichai had raised Wanchai’s “questionable” PhD qualification during the row which culminated in the shooting.
A “questionable” PhD is nothing unusual in Thailand. Ironically, Jatuporn Donsom, a lecturer at Rajabhat Buriram University, claimed her 2008 Master's thesis titled "Ethnic Identity Creation of Vietnamese-Thais at Na Jok village, tambon Nong Yat, Muang district, Nakhon Phanom province" was partly plagiarised by a graduate student at Silpakorn University. Ms Jatuporn said she demanded the university council investigate and revoke the graduate student's degree. She made the request in April last year, but nothing had happened.
In 2012, plagiarism made international headlines when Supachai Lorlowhakarn, the director at Thailand's National Innovation Agency (NIA), had his PhD revoked after Chulalongkorn University declared him guilty of plagiarising 80% of his thesis from the work of Wyn Ellis, a Thailand- based British agriculture researcher. Which is nice, considering that the NIA responsibilities included protecting intellectual property rights. And, of course, it was Wyn Ellis that ended up in detention.
Its all part of a culture of cheating at Thai Universities. Which sometime grab the headlines when imaginative technology is used. In May students at Rangsit University (RSU) in Pathum Thani, north of Bangkok, were caught wearing glasses with embedded cameras. The cameras were designed to take pictures of exam questions which were then allegedly sent to a third party. The students were also reportedly wearing smartwatches to which third parties sent the answers back for them to then their way onto medical courses.
Nobody paid much attention to the shooting in Thailand because there had been an important volleyball match (Thailand vs Japan) the day before.