With their signatures and a handshake, leaders of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Bloomington and Thailand’s leading graduate-level educational institution agreed to an exchange of scholars, students and resources and the creation of SPEA’s first international dual degree.
Dr. Pholpirun and Dr. Reingold SPEA Executive Associate Dean David Reingold and Dr. Piriya Pholpirun, Vice Dean of the International College of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), signed the formal agreement in a ceremony at IU’s Indiana Memorial Union. IU President Michael A. McRobbie and NIDA President Sombat Thamrongthanyawong witnessed the event and also signed documents signaling cooperation between the two institutions.
“This agreement is an indication of the commitment of IU and SPEA to international development and international understanding,” Reingold said. “The students and faculty of both institutions will benefit but that’s not all. Connections like this foster stronger economic and cultural ties between the U.S. and Thailand at an important time.”
Beginning immediately, SPEA master’s degree students have the opportunity to take one year of coursework in Bloomington and one year in Bangkok to earn a Master’s in Public Affairs-Master’s in Management dual degree. All courses will be taught in English.
“Bangkok is an exciting and cosmopolitan city,” Reingold said. “It is an ideal location for our students who want a deeper understanding of Southeast Asia, its governments and nonprofits and its environmental challenges. We also look forward to welcoming more Thai students to Bloomington.”
The agreement is the latest in a series of efforts to expand SPEA’s international reach. The School also has collaborative arrangements with institutions in Seoul, South Korea, Hong Kong and Hyderabad, India. Overseas study programs are now offered in Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Croatia, London, Moscow, Oxford, Pamplona, Rwanda, Siberia, and Speyer.
The agreement is also the latest in a relationship between IU and NIDA that began in 1948 with a meeting between IU’s president at the time, Herman B Wells, and Thailand’s undersecretary for education. President McRobbie visited Thailand last year and delivered an address at NIDA on the challenges facing higher education leaders.