Khon Kaen University

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Khon Kaen University
Motto"วิทยา จริยา ปัญญา"
(both Thai and Pali)
Motto in English
"Knowledge, Virtues, Wisdom"
EstablishedJanuary 25, 1966 (1966-01-25)
PresidentAssoc. Prof. Chanchai Phanthongviriyakul, M.D.
Administrative staff
2,075 (2007)[1]
Students34,382 (2007)[2]
16°28′13″N 102°48′57″E / 16.470329°N 102.815927°E / 16.470329; 102.815927Coordinates: 16°28′13″N 102°48′57″E / 16.470329°N 102.815927°E / 16.470329; 102.815927
Symbolic treeCassia bakeriana

Khon Kaen University (Thai: มหาวิทยาลัยขอนแก่น) or KKU (มข.) is a public research university in Thailand. It was the first university established in northeastern Thailand and remains the oldest and largest university in the region. The university is a hub of education in northeast Thailand. It is widely recognized university in Asia. KKU offers a wide range of programs: its comprehensive academic program offers 105 undergraduate majors, along with 129 master's degree programs, and 59 doctoral programs. Khon Kaen University was ranked 21st in Southeast Asia by Time Higher Education in 2009, and 4th in Thailand by The Office of Higher Education Commission[citation needed].


In 1941, during the reign of the King Ananda Mahidol and during the time of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram as prime minister, a plan was drawn up to improve continued education throughout Thailand. There were plans to open a university in Ubon Ratchathani Province, but the Second World War broke out. Thailand was forced into siding with Japan. Plans to build universities in northeast Thailand were shelved. It wasn't until 1960 that plans to open more institutions of further education in the northeast would resume.

In 1962, under the governance of Prime Minister Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, the proposition to open an institution of further education in the academic fields of engineering and advanced agriculture was passed. Thus, the Khon Kaen Institute of Technology was born. It later became known as the "University of North East Thailand". Because there was no government office that would take responsibility for managing the university directly, the government set up a national education council. This council was responsible for establishing a national curriculum and obtaining assistance from abroad.

In 1963 the faculty's subcommittee established that the campus would be located approximately four kilometers from the city of Khon Kaen and would occupy approximately 3,300,000 m2. In 1965 the prime minister's office officially changed the name of University of North East Thailand to Khon Kaen University. The university also received the authority to control its own affairs. It was once a tradition for Khon Kaen University students from the faculties of engineering and agriculture to engage in an annual inter-faculty sports brawl in the university's sports fields.

Faculties and colleges[edit]

Sithan Gate, Khon Kaen University

International collaboration[edit]

Debate tournaments[edit]

In 2012, KKU won the bid to host university and high school students from schools from across the country for the eighth edition of the national debate tournament—the European Union-Thailand Intervarsity Debate Championship (also known as the 8th EU-TH). The tournament, sponsored by the European Union, was modeled on the European Universities Debating Championship (EUDC). The latest edition, the 9th EU-TH was held in May 2014.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (in Thai). Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2008-07-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (in Thai). Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2008-07-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Strengthening academic ties with Thailand" (Press release). IU International Relations Office. 2007-03-21. Archived from the original on 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2007-04-24.
  4. ^ "European Union Thailand National Debate Tournament Moves from Bangkok to the Northeast". Isaan Record. October 30, 2012. Archived from the original (News > Commentary) on October 31, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2011. KHON KAEN-For the past seven years, the European Union has sponsored the European Union Thailand National Inter-varsity Debate Tournament (EUTH) with the objective of stimulating critical thinking, democratic values, and English proficiency among Thai youth. However, this year marks a first for the event as organizers moved the tournament outside of the capital in an effort to expand beyond the predominantly Bangkok-based participants.