Bangkok students protest against historical campus relocation

Photo courtesy of FM91 Trafficpro (Facebook)

A protest rallied by students and alumni of the Uthenthawai campus of the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok (RMUTTO) unfolded today. The demonstration was against the proposed move of their historical campus, nestled in Bangkok’s Pathumwan district for 68 years.

The protesters, who started their march from the campus on Phayathai Road at 9.39am, first descended on the Chulalongkorn University property management office before proceeding to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. This demonstration led to the occupation of two traffic lanes on Phraya Thai Road, causing traffic congestion in the vicinity.

The contested campus, tracing its roots back to the Uthenthawai Builders School, has held a 20-rai lease from Chulalongkorn University. However, the lease expired in 2003. Since 1975, Chulalongkorn University has been in talks to reclaim the land for expansion purposes, yet the campus persists in its occupancy. The matter has escalated to the Administrative Court, with Chulalongkorn University seeking a relocation order.

On December 14 of the previous year, the Supreme Administrative Court directed the school to relocate the campus. Following this, the minister for higher education instructed the campus to halt the admission of new students and expedite its relocation, a move aimed at curbing the persistent violence stemming from inter-school rivalry.

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This instruction was later amended to permit the enrolment of new students, providing they study elsewhere until the campus completes its relocation.

Despite being offered a new location in the Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan and government funding to aid in the transition, the campus has yet to accept this proposal.

In related news, the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-Ok’s Uthenthawai Campus halted new student admissions and accelerated relocation following clashes with Pathumwan Institute of Technology. The Minister of Higher Education directed the move amidst escalating violence, aiming to prevent further fatalities and expedite the relocation process.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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