In March of 1986 the Mahidol University Council officially endorsed the formation of a new international bachelor degree program, the first of its kind at a public university, designated at that time as the International Students Degree Program (ISDP). Six months later, in September of l986, the program welcomed its first class of students.
The beginning was a modest one – as most beginnings usually are. The facilities were situated on the second floor of the MU Social Science and Humanities Building, with 45 students, two full-time and 20 part-time instructors, a four-member support staff, seven major offerings in the Sciences and Travel Industry Management – and an abundance of hope and determination. During its initial years ISDP grew and flourished, so much so that it eventually required its own separate facilities. In 1992 ISDP officially dedicated its new building, which accommodated 486 students, and introduced two additional majors in Business Administration and Food Science and Technology.
The year 1996 constituted an important milestone. With approval from the Mahidol University Council, ISDP was officially designated Mahidol University International College (MUIC), giving it the full weight and stature of a faculty. Two years later, a six-storey complex was completed in order to accommodate over 1,000 students. A new managerial style was introduced, in addition to an expansion of academic offerings, additional internships, including the Salaya Pavilion Hotel and Training Center, a pre-college program and the formation of offices that addressed both student and alumni needs.
Over the ensuing years, there were additional developments in the college’s academic, physical and social landscapes: an ever-increasing student enrollment, new major programs, the promotion of a vibrant student exchange program and a further expansion of its physical facilities, including an eight-storey extension.
After 26 years, MUIC currently offers 19 undergraduate majors and 22 minors in the Arts, Sciences and Management, along with two master degree programs, for approximately 3,200 students. Furthermore, the college is anticipating even greater student enrollments in the future. It has recently commissioned the construction of a new building, to be completed in 2015. With this new addition MUIC will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 students.
Meeting the challenges of our new world order will require continued resilience and innovation. The journey that began over two decades ago is far from over as Mahidol University International College continues to commit its full resources and energies to the pursuit of academic excellence.