New regional timetable overlooks climatic differences

Lecturers from universities across Thailand have called for the government to forget about unity within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and bring back the old academic timetable which keeps Thai universities closed during the hot season, writes Terry Fredrickson for Bangkok Post.

In anticipation of the ASEAN Economic Community, Thailand recently changed its university semester dates to match other countries in ASEAN. Under the new timetable, the first semester runs from August to December and the second semester from January to May. Universities are closed from June to July, rather than April and May, the hottest months.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Assembly of Faculty Senate Chairs of Thailand, Rattakorn Kidkarn, the group's president, said "the change affects education quality in Thailand, particularly the second semester which runs during the hot season". Rattakorn said it is not suitable for students to learn in the hot season because universities have to pay more for air conditioning.
Full report on the Bangkok Post site