Chulalongkorn University (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย) is the oldest university in Thailand and has long been considered one of the country's most prestigious universities. It now has eighteen faculties and a number of schools and institutes. Regarded as the best and most selective university of Thailand, it normally attracts top students around the country. It is named after King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), and was established by his son and successor King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) in 1917 by combining the Royal Pages School and the College of Medicine.
Its campus occupies a vast area in downtown Bangkok, just next to the popular teenagers hangout Siam Square and a few steps away from the most prestigious and private sports club, The Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The symbol of the University is the Phra Kiao, a royal insignia. Diplomas were traditionally handed out at graduation by the King of Thailand, created and begun by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII). But at present, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) delegates the role to one of his daughters, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
During the years 1973-1977 Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was a student at the University, becoming the first member of the Thai Royal Family to graduate from a Thai university. Prior to that, Thai royals had always studied abroad.
Chulalongkorn University consists of 20 faculties and schools:
- Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
- Faculty of Architecture
- Faculty of Arts
- Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy
- Faculty of Communication Arts
- Faculty of Dentistry
- Faculty of Economics
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Nursing
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Faculty of Political Science
Faculty of Psychology
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Veterinary Science
School of Sport Sciences|
Other institutions which are associated with the university include The Petroleum and Petrochemical College, The College of Public Health Science, College of Population Studies, Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institite, The Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Aquatic Resources Research Institute, Environmental Research Institute, Social Research Institute, Institute of Asian Studies, Transportation Institute and Sasin Business School (Sasin Business School was founded by Chulalongkorn University with the support and collaboration of the Kellogg School of Management and the Wharton Business School.)
In the Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings 2004, the university was ranked 46th in the world for social sciences and 60th for biomedicine.
In October 2005, the university was ranked at 121st in the World University Rankings 2005 by the Times Higher Education Supplement. Excluding North American and European institutions, it was ranked at 35th. It was also ranked 46th in the world for social sciences, 82nd for biomedicine, and 100th for technology.
In 2006, The university was ranked at 161st in the Times Higher World University Rankings 2006. It was also ranked 80th for biomedicine and 95th for technology.
In September 2006, three universities in Thailand were ranked "Excellent" in both academic and research areas by Commission on Higher Education. Those universities are Chiang Mai University, Chulalongkorn University, and Mahidol University.
Notable Faculty and Alumni
- HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej of Songkhla father of King Ananda Mahidol and King Bhumibol Adulyadej
- HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, princess of Narathiwat, Thailand
- HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, princess of Thailand
- Prawes Wasi, a winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award
- Banjong Pisanthanakun, a Thai film director and screenwriter, notable for his films Shutter and Alone.
- Surakiart Sathirathai, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand
- Mallica Vajrathon, a United Nations Senior Staff Member
- Win Lyovarin, a Thai writer, two-time winner of the S.E.A. Write Award
- Binlah Sonkalagiri, a winner of the S.E.A. Write Award
- Sudarat Keyuraphan, the deputy leader of the Thai Rak Thai party, former Thailand's Minister of Agriculture
- Thanpuying Dhasanawalaya Sornsongkram, daughter of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana
- HRH Princess Siriwannawari Nariratana, princess of Thailand
- Apinan Poshyananda, Director-General, Office of Contemporary Art, The Ministry of Culture and one of the top curators in the Asian region
- Montien Boonma, one of the most celebrated Asian contemporary artists
- Thongchai Winichakul, a professor in the History Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a specialist in the intellectual and cultural history of Thailand
- Decha Boonkham, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (landscape architecture)
- Krisda Arunvongse, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (contemporary architecture)
- Rawee Pawilai, a renowned expert on astronomy, and Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Prayom Songthong, Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Supachai Chansuwan, Thailand National Artist in the area of Thai dance
- Vinita Diteeyont, Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Jullatat Kitibud, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (contemporary architecture)
- Nithi Sthapitanonda, one of Thailand's most renowned contemporary architects, and Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (contemporary architecture)
- Supa sirising or Botan, Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Pinyo Suwankiri, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (Thai architecture)
- Borwornsak Uwanno, a Thai legal expert and a cabinet secretary-general under the Thaksin-government
- Kiatisuk Senamuang, a professional football player
The University has given honorary degrees to heads of state and other international dignitaries, including two US Presidents
Chulalongkorn University student traditions include:
- Chula–Thammasat Traditional Football Match: The annual football match between Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University in January at Suphashalasai Stadium. It first started in 1934.
- Loy Krathong: an annual celebration of the full moon night, which usually falls on the first full moon day in November. Since the festival is open to the public, it attracts many people, especially Chulalongkorn students and faculty and those who live in downtown Bangkok, to come to the university to float their Krathongs on the university's pond.
- Chulalongkorn Academic Exhibition: a triennial academic and research exhibition presented by Chulalongkorn University's students and faculty. It is regarded as one of the most important academic fairs in Thailand.
Student activities and clubs
The University is host to 40 student clubs, including the Buddhism and Tradition Club, the Religious Studies Club, the Mind Study Club, and the Thai Classical Music Club. Chulalongkorn also has a Morals Network, which actively campaigns to protect student activities from damaging the university's reputation. The University's Cheer Club annually organizes the Chula-Thammasat Traditional Football Match.