Before the establishment of Ramkhamhaeng University in 1971, Thailand had long suffered what might be called “a crisis in the quest for higher education”. At that time the number of high school graduates seeking seats to the universities outnumbered the admission capacity of all universities combined. The problem finally prompted the parliament to pass a law authorizing the establishment of Ramkhamhaeng University, named after King Ramkhamhaeng the Great (ca. 1239-1317), who invented the Thai alphabet, or ‘RU’ as it is commonly known … the country’s first open-admission university.
The university was granted permission to use a 300 rai (125 acre) plot of land in the eastern suburb of Bangkok as its main campus; this land once housed the International Trade Fair. With the growing number of students, Ramkhamhaeng has expanded to Bang-Na campus, about 25 kilometers away from the main campus. In the national program, freshmen classes are held at the extension campus while classes for upper level students remain at Huamark. Additionally, there are 22 more campuses all over Thailand.
The logo of Ramkhamhaeng University
In 1999, Ramkhamhaeng University expanded its educational opportunities by forming the Institute of International Studies (IIS-RU) as a faculty for the university’s international program to satisfy the ever growing demand for international higher education.
Among other developments, the past two decades have witnessed a number of changes in the operation and structure of the University itself. For instance, the number of students has skyrocketed with each passing academic year, reaching over 600,000 in 2004.
On an academic note, having started out with only four faculties in all, primarily those pertaining to the social sciences, namely, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Business Administration, the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Education, later, in 1974, three more faculties were added, consisting of the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Political Science and the Faculty of Economics.
Thai universities have plants as symbols. Supanika
is the symbol of Ramkhamhaeng University.