Uthenthawai campus halts admissions amid escalating student gang violence

The Uthenthawai Campus of the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-Ok has been directed by Supamas Isarabhakdi, the Minister of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation, to halt admitting new students and expedite its relocation. This decision aims to curb the escalating violence resulting from clashes between student gangs from the Uthenthawai Campus and the nearby Pathumwan Institute of Technology.

During a statement at the Government House, Supamas Isarabhakdi announced that the Uthenthawai campus rector has been instructed to stop the admission of new students for the 2024 academic year. This action is a step towards the planned relocation of the campus out of the Pathumwan district.

The minister acknowledged that the relocation process would take some time but stressed the urgency of the situation, noting that the task could be achieved faster as the campus currently hosts less than 1,000 students.

“The issue of violence is escalating and everyone must cooperate.”

This resolution comes in the wake of several fatalities during altercations between the rival student groups. A first-year student from the Uthenthawai Campus lost his life in a shooting incident in the Klong Toey district in November of the previous year. Recently, two students from Pathumwan Institute of Technology were assaulted in front of their campus, leading to one fatality.

Supamas Isarabhakdi also specified that the police were undertaking efforts to prevent further violence and were on high alert for the Uthenthawai Campus’s anniversary on February 1.

The Uthenthawai Campus is situated on a 20 rai land area leased from Chulalongkorn University in 1935 for 68 years. However, the lease expired in 2003 and negotiations for the return of the land to Chulalongkorn University have been ongoing since 1975 without resolution.

In 2002, the Treasury Department proposed utilising a 36 rai land area in the Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan for the relocation of the Uthenthawai Campus. The government allocated US$200 million for the construction of the new campus.

Despite signing an agreement with Chula University to vacate the current premises by September 30, 2005, and agreeing to relocate to the Bang Phli site in November of the same year, the relocation process has been stalled due to opposition from the students, reported Bangkok Post.

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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