Universities Set up Funds for Students Affected by COVID

A file photo of Thammasat University

BANGKOK — Prominent universities around Thailand are taking action to help students whose livelihoods has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Prince of Songkla University in the south was the latest establishment to offer the assistance programs, following the moves by other universities like Chulalongkorn and Thammasat. 

Niwat Kaewpradub, president of Prince of Songkla University, announced on Monday that a fund worth 150 million baht was set up to assist affected students. 

Tuition fees will be reduced by 20 per cent. A discount of 10 percent is also given to 15,600 students who are staying at the university’s dormitories. Another 10 million baht is set aside as an emergency loan for students.

“If the COVID-19 situation continues to be severe, the university will organize online teachings,” Niwat said. “There are five computer centers with 1,000 computers available, and students who do not have computers can use them.”

At Chulalongkorn, a pandemic relief fund of 500 million baht for students includes a 10,000 baht student-welfare handout for up to 4,000 affected students. 

Some students are also hired to work online during the crisis and paid no more than 500 baht per day. Its dormitories will return half of the rents for students paying by academic term. Those renting on a monthly basis can apply to be exempted from paying rentals for a period of two months.

Thammasat University went as far as giving a 50 percent discount to students currently staying at its dorms. The discount lasts for three months. 

A handout of 5,000 baht will also be sent to students in need. For the more fortunate, they can apply for one of the 4,000 funds worth 2,500 baht each. 

Students having difficulties accessing the internet will be given free educational internet SIM cards so they can study online without further expenditure.