Chulalongkorn University

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Chulalongkorn University
Phra Kiao.svg
Former names
Royal Pages School, Civil Service College of King Chulalongkorn
Motto • Knowledge with Virtue (official)
• Honour of Chula is the Honour of Serving the Public (unofficial)
Established March 26, 1917
Type Public (National)
President Professor Pirom Kamol-Ratanakul, M.D.
Students 37,625[1]
Undergraduates 24,851
Postgraduates 9,458
Location Bangkok, Thailand
13°44′18″N 100°31′57″E / 13.73826°N 100.532413°E / 13.73826; 100.532413Coordinates: 13°44′18″N 100°31′57″E / 13.73826°N 100.532413°E / 13.73826; 100.532413
Campus Urban
Anthem "Maha Chulalongkorn"
("Great Chulalongkorn")
Colours      Pink
Mascot Rain Tree
Affiliations ASAIHL, AUN, APRU
Pillar of the Kingdom

Chulalongkorn University (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย; RTGS: Chulalongkon Maha Witthayalai; pronounced [t͡ɕù.lāː.lōŋ.kɔ̄ːn mā.hǎː.wít.tʰā.jāː.lāj]), officially abbreviated as CU and commonly abbreviated as Chula (Thai: จุฬาฯ), is the oldest university under the Thai modern educational system, founded in 1917 by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI)[2] who named it after his father, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). It is one of the best universities in Thailand and Southeast Asia according to several university rankings.[3] It comprises nineteen faculties and institutes.

Bird-angle view of Chulalongkorn University

Its campus occupies a vast area in downtown Bangkok. 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.


The university was named after King Chulalongkorn

The demands of officials specialized in various fields by the government in the late 19th century Siam was an result of King Chulalongkorn’s bureaucratic reforms, which aimed to transform the feudal Thai society into a modernized state. In 1899, the king founded the Civil Service Training School[4] near the northern gate of the Royal Palace. Those who graduated from the school would became royal pages. Being royal pages, they learned how to administer organizations by working closely with the king, which was a traditional way of entrance to Siamese bureaucracy. After being royal pages, they would then serve in the Mahattai Ministry or other government ministries.

On April 1, 1902[5] the king thought the name of the school should be renamed to increase dignity of students and graduates. Hence the name Royal Pages School (Thai: โรงเรียนมหาดเล็ก) was later used. Later, on January 1, 1911,[6] King Vajiravudh renamed the school again to Civil Service College of King Chulalongkorn (Thai: โรงเรียนข้าราชการพลเรือนของพระบาทสมเด็จพระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) as a memorial to his father and moved the school to Windsor Palace (Thai: วังวินด์เซอร์ หรือวังใหม่) in the Pathumwan district.

The academic demands, however, increased all over the country as a whole as Siam was modernized. King Vajiravudh then took the remaining funds of Chulalongkorn’s Royal Equestrian Statue construction, which was collected from people. Then combined with his own funds to subsidize the construction of a university campus. The king organized various schools around the city proper into the Chulalongkorn's College. The college offered 8 majors taught by 5 schools including;

King Rama VI then realized that the education should be provided to all people not only for the bureaucrats. On March 26, 1917, the college was upgraded to the Chulalongkorn University (Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย),[7] and the schools were transformed into four faculties: Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Faculty of Public Administration, Faculty of Engineering, and Faculty of Medicine.

Chulalongkorn University main auditorium

The university firstly granted certificates to its graduates. The education for a degree was then prepared. The Rockefeller Foundation reorganized the curriculum of the Faculty of Medicine. In 1923, the Faculty of Medicine became the first faculty to accept students from the secondary education (known as Mattayom). The remaining faculties then followed suit. After the 1932 Revolution, the Khana Ratsadon wanted the legal and political studies to be independent from "royalists'" Chulalongkorn University so they took the Faculty of Law and Political Science into their new Thammasat University in 1933.

In 1938, the Chulalongkorn University’s Preparatory School was founded to provide pre-collegiate education for its students. Those who managed to enter the university had to spent two years in the Preparatory School before going on to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Preparatory School, however, ceased to be a university-owned preparatory school in 1947 and became independent Triam Udom Suksa School. Later, the university established Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School (CUD) system as laboratory primary and high schools for Faculty of Education.


Chamchuri Square, a high-rise building complex near the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy, is owned by Chulalongkorn University
Chulalongkorn Business School
Mahamakut Building, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University.

Chulalongkorn University consists of 21 faculties and schools which function as a teaching and researching unit.[8][9]

In 1917, the university had four faculties: Arts and Sciences, Public Administration, Engineering and Medicine. The Faculty of Law was established in 1933 as part of the Faculty of Law and Political Science.[10] During the 1930s to the 1950s it expanded to various fields including Pharmacy (1934), Veterinary Science (1935), Architecture (1939), Dentistry (1940), and Commerce and Accountancy (1943). In 1943, the regency government under General Phibun separated the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Science to become the University of Medical Sciences (now Mahidol University). In 1948, the Faculty of Political Science was re-established. The Faculty of Education was established in 1957 from the School of Teacher Training at Baan Somdet Chao Phraya (Thai: โรงเรียนฝึกหัดครู บ้านสมเด็จเจ้าพระยา).[11] In 1967, the Faculty of Veterinary Science was returned from Kasetsart University and the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn Hospital was moved from University of Medical Sciences to Chulalongkorn University. In 1972, the Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Pharmacy were retrieved.

Office of Commission on Agricultural Resource Education (OCARE) was established in 2009.[12] It is actually not administration office but school in which teaching and research are carried out. It intakes students from two groups: one from Northern Thailand provinces (Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Uttaradit) and another from the rest of country. It has been upgraded into School of Agricultural Resources with full degree granting power by university council on 5 March 2014.[9]

List of faculties
Associated institutes
  • Chulalongkorn University Demonstrational Schools (CUD)
  • Petroleum and Petrochemical College
  • College of Public Health Science
  • College of Population Studies
  • Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute
  • Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
  • Aquatic Resources Research Institute, Environmental Research Institute
  • Social Research Institute, Institute of Asian Studies
  • Transportation Institute
  • Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration (founded by Chulalongkorn University with the support and collaboration of the Kellogg School of Management and the Wharton Business School.)


National Ranking
Webometrics (2012) 1[13]
Times (Asia) (2012) 3[14]
QS Asian (2012) 2
QS World (2012) 1
SIR (2555) 1
Webometrics (2012) 169[13]
Times (2012) 82[14]
QS Asian (2012) 43[15]
QS World (2012) 201[16]
SIR (2012) 480[17]
University World Ranking in 2005 – 2011 by QS World University Rankings[18]
2012[19] 2011[20] 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Overall 201 171 180 138 166 223 161 161
Arts & Humanities 113 69 78 49 119 136
Natural Sciences 140 138 186 136 171 159
Engineering & IT 106 104 101 78 86 100
Social Sciences 80 68 78 51 72 83
Life Sciences 92 78 130 51 108 138

The university fell to number 236 in the 2013 rankings.[21]

In 2014, the university suffered a massive drop in academic reputation and fell out of the top 100 universities in Asia, losing ground to 2 Thai rivals who are in the top 50.

Honorary Degrees[edit]

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[edit]

Students dormitory

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 have 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.


Phra Kiao[edit]

See also: Phra Kiao

Since the establishment of the Royal Pages School, the former name of the university, Chulalongkorn authorized the use of his personal emblem as school emblem.[23] The emblem is 'Phra Kiao', or Thai style coronet which is made to fit hair topknot. As the school was transformed into university, the King of Thailand authorized the use of Phra Kiao until nowadays. Today, Phra Kiao is used in formal letters, transcripts, souvenirs made by university and student uniforms.

Student Uniform[edit]

Undergraduate students are required to wear uniform as they are studying, taking examinations and contacting the university. For graduate students, collared or polo shirt and dark trousers are required for male students while plain blouse with properly long skirt are required for female students.

Originally, the university uniform was adapted from uniform worn by Chulalongkorn's heirs.[24] Later, the uniform was changed into more modernized version but original one is reserved as a formal uniform. Formal uniform is usually worn by student leaders and bachelor graduates.

Today, the normal uniform for male undergraduate students are plain white shirt with long or short sleeves and black (or dark blue) trousers. Dark blue necktie with colored Phra Kiao in its front is required for first year students but optional for higher years. However, black tie with silver Phra Kiao pin is usually used by higher year students in some faculties. For female students, they are required to wear short-sleeved blouse with fold along the spine. The buttons must be made of metal and Phra Kiao emblem must be pinned on right chest. Slightly dark blue or black pleated skirt and any black, white, brown shoes that conceal heels are also required. For female first year students, white leather shoes are required.[25] Chulalongkorn University's uniform has long been template of uniforms used in other universities in Thailand.

Academic Dress[edit]

The academic dress of Chulalongkorn University is based on ceremonial attire called suea krui, which is long-sleeved robe made of very fine mesh. Like dresses worn in United Kingdom, the robe is open-fronted and calf-length. Cap and hood, however, are omitted. Colored felt strip decorated with gold-colored ribbon is attached to the margin of the gown including elbow and wrist. Bachelors and masters use black strip, while respective scarlet and pink are for doctors (including honorary degrees recipients) and lecturers. Yellow strip is used specially for the king of Thailand.[26]

In addition, the colored yarn (bachelor) or ribbon (master and doctor) is added to the center of the strip longitudinally, according to degree granting faculty.[27] The gown was authorized for use by Vajiravudh.[28]

Example of Felt Strips[edit]

Rain Tree[edit]

Rain tree is very common on the university campus. It was deeply associated to the university since the past. Fresh green leaves in the beginning of the semester represent freshmen's enjoyment. As the tree produces slimy pods and sheds leaves, the below ground becomes dirty and slippery. As a simile, it is described as a warning to students to be ready for examination. When they walk carefully, they do not slip (able to pass examination). Whereas if they walk carelessly, they would slip and get injured (unable to pass examination).[29]

Around 1937–1957, many rain trees were to be cut down to allocate the area for new buildings and enhance cleanliness. The King Bhumibol Adulyadej recognized the dramatic decrease in the number of rain trees. Hence on January 15, 1962 the king planted five trees that he brought from Hua Hin in front of the university auditorium and said "Hence I give these five trees as eternal memorial" (จึงขอฝากต้นไม้ไว้ห้าต้นให้เป็นเครื่องเตือนใจตลอดกาล).

Notable alumni[edit]

International Reputation[edit]

Robocup competitions[edit]

The university Robocup team, Plasma‐Z, got several prizes from the robotics competition as follow.[35]

  • In 2005, almost reached the quarter final at Osaka RoboCup.
  • In 2006, the third place and technical challenge at Bremen RoboCup.
  • In 2007, second place Atlanta World RoboCup.
  • In 2008, finally the team got champion of World RoboCup Small‐Sized Robot League at Suzhou, China.

Moreover, another university Robocup team, Plasma-RX has participated in Rescue robot league at World RoboCup 2008, Suzhou, China, and won the first prize and the best-in-class in mobility award.[36][37]


  • In April 2012, Times Higher Education raised concerns that Chulalongkorn failed to act against Supachai Lorlowhakarn, a senior government official who was found by a university investigation to have plagiarised his PhD thesis and who has also been accused of plagiarising an academic paper about organic asparagus production.[38][39][40] Later, on 21 June 2012, the University formally withdrew the degree of PhD from Supachai Lorlowhakarn, the first time it had ever revoked a PhD.[41]


  1. ^ Office of the Registrar, Chulalongkorn University. Statistics on Students in Different Level. Last updated January 17, 2013
  2. ^ History of Chulalongkorn University
  3. ^ "World Science & Engineering University Portal: THES- World University Ranking 2007". Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  4. ^ Thai: โรงเรียนสำหรับฝึกหัดวิชาข้าราชการฝ่ายพลเรือน
  5. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, พระบรมราชโองการประกาศตั้งโรงเรียนมหาดเล็ก. เล่ม ๑๙, ตอน ๑, ๖ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๔๔๕, หน้า ๑๖ (Royal Order to establish Royal Page School)
  6. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, พระบรมราชโองการประกาศตั้งโรงเรียนข้าราชการพลเรือนฯ , เล่ม ๒๗, ตอน ก, ๑๑ มกราคม พ.ศ.๒๔๕๔, หน้า ๑๒๓ (Royal Order to establish the Civil Service College of King Chulalongkorn)
  7. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, พระบรมราชโองการ ประกาศประดิษฐานโรงเรียนข้าราชการพลเรือนของพระบาทสมเด็จพระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัวขึ้นเป็นโรงเรียนข้าราชการพลเรือน, เล่ม ๒๗, ตอน ก, ๑๕ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๔๖๐ (ประกาศเมื่อวันที่ ๒๖ มีนาคม พ.ศ.๒๔๖๐, หน้า ๑๒๓ (Royal Order to establish the Civil Service College of King Chulalongkorn.)
  8. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, ประกาศจุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย เรื่อง ส่วนงานของมหาวิทยาลัย พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๒, เล่ม ๑๒๗, ตอนพิเศษ ๑๖ ง, ๑ กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๓, หน้า ๗๐ (University notification (rather command) on academic units, 2008)
  9. ^ a b ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, ประกาศจุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย เรื่อง ส่วนงานของมหาวิทยาลัย (ฉบับที่ ๒) พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๗, เล่ม ๑๓๑, ตอนพิเศษ ๔๙ ง, ๑๘ มีนาคม พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๗, หน้า ๓ (Amendment to 2008 regulation, ratified 2014)
  10. ^
  11. ^ Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University
  12. ^ Principles and history of establishing OCARE.
  13. ^ a b Webometrics: Thailand, Retrieved 12 April 2012
  14. ^ a b Asia University Rankings 2013 Top 100, Retrieved 12 April 2012
  15. ^ QS asian university ranking 2012, Retrieved 12 April 2012
  16. ^ QS world university ranking 2012, Retrieved 12 April 2012
  17. ^ SIR World Report 2012, Retrieved 12 April 2012
  18. ^ Chulalongkorn University World University Ranking
  19. ^ World University Ranking 2012
  20. ^ World University Ranking 2011
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory". Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  23. ^ About Phra Kiao by Chulalongkorn Memorial Hall
  24. ^ History about CU uniform.
  25. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา, ข้อบังคับจุฬาฯ ว่าด้วยเครื่องแบบ เครื่องหมาย และเครื่องแต่งกายนิสิต พ.ศ.๒๕๕๓, เล่ม ๑๒๗, ตอนพิเศษ ๕๒ ง, ๒๖ เมษายน พ.ศ.๒๕๕๓ (The university regulation on uniform and dress codes, 2010)
  26. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา.พระราชกำหนดเสื้อครุยบัณฑิตของจุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย พ.ศ.๒๔๗๓. เล่ม ๔๗, ๖ กรกฎาคม ๒๔๗๓. (Regulation on Chulalongkorn University Graduation Gown, 1930)
  27. ^ ราชกิจจานุเบกษา.ข้อบังคับจุฬาฯ ว่าด้วยการกำหนดปริญญาในสาขาวิชา อักษรย่อสำหรับสาขาวิชา ครุยวิทยฐานะ เข็มวิทยฐานะ และครุยประจำตำแหน่ง พ.ศ.๒๕๕๓.เล่ม ๑๒๗ ตอนพิเศษ ๕๒ ง, ๒๖ เมษายน ๒๕๕๓. (University Regulation on Degrees Granted, Graduation and Faculty Gowns, 2010)
  28. ^ Graduation Gown of Chulalongkorn University
  29. ^ Rain Tree-The Symbol of Chulalongkorn University
  30. ^ Narongrit Dhamabutra's website
  31. ^ Bangkok Post story on plagiarism allegations
  32. ^ Innovation boss in duplication row by Paul Jump, Times HIgher Education 19 April 2012
  33. ^ Thai plagiarism saga takes a new turn
  34. ^ Communities of Practice, Chulalongkorn University
  35. ^ PlasmaZ Extended Team Description Paper
  36. ^ Plasma-RX: Autonomous Rescue robots
  37. ^ Plasma-RX: Autonomous Rescue Robots
  38. ^ Innovation boss in duplication row by Paul Jump, Times Higher Education 19 April 2012
  39. ^ University rankings from Chula's perspective New Mandala
  40. ^ Thai plagiarism saga takes a new turn SciDevNet 28 May 2012
  41. ^ University World News 18 August 2012 Suluck Lamubol "Plagiarism controversy raises questions over academic integrity"

See also[edit]

External links[edit]