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Phuket International Academy Graduates to UWC Network

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The Phuket International Academy confirmed last week its new affiliation with the global network of United World Colleges (UWC).

“We are delighted to have become part of UWC; a leader in education in 15 different locations around the world. The UWC is a federation of independent international schools that use the same education model. This affiliation will also encourage our campus to become more diverse with students joining us from around the globe,” said Philipp Graf von Hardenberg, chair of the executive board at Phuket International Academy.

“While most UWC campuses provide education for students in the final two years of their secondary education, the Phuket campus will include all ages, from 18 months to 18 years, to allow for the maximum benefits of an outstanding educational philosophy,” said Mr Hardenberg.

In 2014 Phuket International Academy recruited Julian Whiteley as chief executive. He served as Head of College for ten years at the UWC campus in Singapore, widely acknowledged as one of the top-ten international schools in the world.

“The United World College movement was founded by educational visionary Kurt Hahn in the 1960s. He believed that students should have a practical education mixed with outdoor activity and service to the community. The aim of the UWC movement was to bring together young people from areas of post-war conflict to act as champions of peace through an education based on shared learning, collaboration and understanding,” said Mr Whiteley.

The first UWC opened in Wales in 1962. Since then, the United World College movement has grown to include 15 campuses world wide, including Holland, Swaziland, Bosnia, Norway, Canada, China, India and Singapore.

“The UWC has long been at the forefront of international education and over the years has played a significant role in the development of the world-renowned IB Diploma Programme. With service at the heart of its Mission, UWC empowers students to become aware, able and active change agents in their communities.

“Kurt Hahn believed in the importance of experiential learning; learning by doing. He was instrumental in the development of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and opened the first Outward Bound School in 1941, where participants challenge themselves in unfamiliar outdoor settings to learn advanced skills.

“The United World College philosophy is to use education as a force to unite peoples, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. This is the educational philosophy that we want to provide our students here at our Phuket campus,” said Mr Whiteley.

Every year, in excess of 1,000 students are selected by UWC National Committees based in over 150 countries and awarded scholarships to attend one of the schools or colleges. Scholarships have been offered to Thai students since 1976 during the term of then prime minister MR Kukrit Pramoj, who recognised the benefits and importance to Thailand of being part of UWC and appointed the first National Committee of Thailand. The current President of UWC is Queen Noor of Jordan.

“We support a transformational education where extraordinary students interact with one another. As our students come from such a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds, we will develop a curriculum that builds upon the real experiences of our students, which we believe will create a more developed sense of ethical interactions,” said Mr Whiteley.

Phuket International Academy currently has 350 students. Mr Whiteley anticipates 25 to 30 United World College scholars will join the campus in August. New classrooms and boarding facilities are in the planning stage to cope with the anticipated growth of the school to 850 students.

— Bruce Stanley

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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