Indonesia becomes the second country after Egypt which targeted by students of Southern Thailand to continue their study in Higher Education institutions. Most of Thai students who study in Indonesia choose Muhammadiyah Universities (PTM). This was stated by the Secretary General of Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) Thailand, Suphanat Sirunthawinati, when he was welcoming 6 PTM delegates led by Prof. Dr. Edy Suandi Hamid at SBPAC headquarters in Yala, Southern Thailand on Wednesday (30/5).
The PTM delegates are The Chairman of the Association of International Relations Office (ASKUI) of PTM, Endang Zakaria, who is also The Head of International Relations Office (IRO) of Universitas Muhammadiyah Jakarta, Head of IRO of Universitas Ahmad Dahlan Ida Puspita, Secretary of IRO of Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara Emni Purwoningsih, Head of IRO of UHAMKA Purnama Syaepurohman, and Head of IRO of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta Yordan Gunawan.
“PTM graduates who return to Thailand have worked in government and private sector institutions” We are glad they are studying in Indonesia because for us Indonesia is our brother”, said Suphanat.
Prof. Edy, who is also Vice Chairman of Higher Education Council Muhammadiyah, addressed his expectation to SBPAC to improve the collaboration with Muhammadiyah. “We will renew the MoU to increase the opportunity for Southern Thailand’s people to study at PTM, and we will also provide scholarships, which we are currently offering scholarships from 16 PTM. This number will be increased,” said Prof. Edy.
The selection of 99 Thai students who will study at 16 PTM was conducted through SBPAC. The selection process will also be held to 90 applicants who are applied through MEDAT (Muslim Education Development Association of Thailand) in Songkhla and Bangkok.
The number of PTM that spread in various regions of Indonesia becomes the attraction factor for students from Thailand. “Not only from Southern Thailand but from other regions”, said Prof. Edy Suandi.
Meanwhile, Chairman of ASKUI PTM, Endang Zakaria added that the field of Islamic dakwah for Muhammadiyah is no longer limited by the border of state and religion, but must be more universal, to gain great influence of dakwah. “Muhammadiyah should expand the dakwah area to all mankind from various countries, through education sector”, Endang Zakaria concluded.