Organization:Khon Kaen University

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Khon Kaen University
Motto"Vidyā Cariyā Paññā"
(both Thai and Pali)
Motto in English
"Knowledge, Virtues, Wisdom"
EstablishedJanuary 25, 1966 (1966-01-25)
PresidentAssoc. Prof. Chanchai Phanthongviriyakul, M.D.
Administrative staff
2,075 (2007)[1]
Students34,382 (2007)[2]
Khon Kaen

Coordinates: 16°28′13″N 102°48′57″E / 16.470329°N 102.815927°E / 16.470329; 102.815927
Symbolic treeCassia bakeriana

Khon Kaen University (Thai: มหาวิทยาลัยขอนแก่น) or KKU (มข.) is a public research university in Thailand. It was the first university established in northeastern Thailand and remains the oldest and largest university in the region. The university is a hub of education in northeast Thailand. It is a widely recognized university in Asia. KKU offers a wide range of programs: its comprehensive academic program offers 105 undergraduate majors, along with 129 master's degree programs, and 59 doctoral programs. Khon Kaen University was ranked 21st in Southeast Asia by Time Higher Education in 2009, and 4th in Thailand by The Office of Higher Education Commission.


In 1941, during the reign of the King Ananda Mahidol and during the time of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram as prime minister, a plan was drawn up to improve continued education throughout Thailand. There were plans to open a university in Ubon Ratchathani Province, but the Second World War broke out. Thailand was forced into siding with Japan. Plans to build universities in northeast Thailand were shelved. It wasn't until 1960 that plans to open more institutions of further education in the northeast would resume.

In 1962, under the governance of Prime Minister Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, the proposition to open an institution of further education in the academic fields of engineering and advanced agriculture was passed. Thus, the Khon Kaen Institute of Technology was born. It later became known as the "University of North East Thailand". Because there was no government office that would take responsibility for managing the university directly, the government set up a national education council. This council was responsible for establishing a national curriculum and obtaining assistance from abroad.

In 1963 the faculty's subcommittee established that the campus would be located approximately four kilometers from the city of Khon Kaen and would occupy approximately 3,300,000 m2. In 1965 the prime minister's office officially changed the name of University of North East Thailand to Khon Kaen University. The university also received the authority to control its own affairs. It was once a tradition for Khon Kaen University students from the faculties of engineering and agriculture to engage in an annual inter-faculty sports brawl in the university's sports fields.



The university provides dormitories for students who have requested to stay on-campus.

KKU Dormitory (Dormitories 1–27). A dormitory under the responsibility of the Student Services Division Khonkaen University. There are 26 dormitories, of which 11 are male dormitories and 15 are female dormitory. There are 4,034 students in total.

KKU Co-partners (Dormitories 8 and 9),There are 9 private houses in the management, 4 male dormitory and 5 female dormitory. Each dormitory has 107 rooms. Admission is 2 people per room. A total of 1,926 students are accepted.


The Central Library, which is located at the Instructional Resources Center (located directly across the street from the Complex), consists of 2 buildings: a three-story building with 4,600 square meters of space and a six-story building with 9,600 square meters of space. Both buildings have a shelving capacity of 300,000 books.

IT and Internet

The KKU Computer Center, located between the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Management Science, provides computer facilities to support teaching, learning and research advancement. The Computer Center also offers training courses, supports e-mail and internet services, and offers research data analysis. All KKU students are allowed to access KKU-NETWORK and use KKU-Web Mail via KKU Internet. The IT Clinic, which is located at the 1st floor of the Computer Center, provides a range of computer related services, including computer upgrades, hardware repair, and anti-virus, installation.

Health Services

Subsidized by the university, the Student Health Service provides general practitioner medical care for students who have paid the required fee upon enrolment. The medical centre is located in the Talad Mor Din Deng area behind the Complex.

Srinagarind Hospital

The university hospital is part of the KKU Faculty of Medicine. Hospital services are free-of-charge in some cases, but may be charged in more serious and involved cases. Srinagarind Hospital is located in front of the university on Mitraphap Road/Friendship Highway.


The KKU Hospital of Dentistry (located at the Faculty of Dentistry) provides dental service for students, staff, and people not affiliated with KKU.

Food and Service Center

The University Commercial Complex, Food, and Service Center (commonly referred to as, “the Complex”) is located at the center of campus, directly across from the central library. Services include: university book store, university co-op store, dining hall, pharmacy, banking, ATM machines, photo lab, photocopy service, barbers and hairdressers, spas, and many other shops and services. The Complex is the central meeting place for students on the KKU campus.


KKU Shuttle Bus

-Services are free for students and staff


Chairman of the University Council

Dr.Narongchai Akrasanee


Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul

Award and rankings

2010 Khon Kaen University was rated as one of the 9 National Research Universities of Thailand.

         Ranking : Domestic (International)
Institute 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Times Higher Education (Social Impact Ranking) 1(101–200) - - - - - - - -
QS World University Rankings 6(148) 7(178) 7(165) 6(171–180) - - - - -
URAP - 4(903) 5(896) 4(854) 4(832) 4(838) 4(802) 5(805) 6(888)
Webometrics 5(873) - - - - - - - -
SIR 4(388) 4(388) 4(394) 5(396) 6(399) 7(399) 6(414) 8(453) 11(508)
CWTS 4(1477) 4(1396) 4(1291) 4(1149) - - - - -
Nature Index - 13 6 17 - - - - -


Among the areas in which outstanding research takes place at KKU is in medicine, public Health and tropical medicine, with its Tropical Disease Research Laboratory gaining widespread acclaim. It also excels in its historic research strength of agriculture, with studies focusing on tropical farming systems in both animal and plant science. Work on the bio-diversity in the Mekong River basin, as well as business and tourism in this area, has also been recognised.

In line with the goal to develop the university's research, it has now has a total of 25 research centres of excellence and research specialist groups, based around six research themes: health problems, food products and food for health, water management, improving literacy and numeracy, biofuels and advanced materials.

Khon Kaen University: Research Center of Excellence

KKU agencies include the Office of Research Management, the Office of Royally-initiated Projects and a total of 26 research centers of excellence and research specialist groups, 7 research institutes, 50 research centers and groups supporting and promoting research to university staff and personnel which are also provided with research funds from KKU's 40th anniversary establishment of its Research Fund, and other funding sources. These research centers aim to help support and promote the research work of university personnel and staff. Additionally, KKU has established more research working bodies to collaborate with organizations outside the university, both public and private organizations.  At present, the University has partnerships with more than 160 national and international research organizations from 25 countries. There are also exchange programs for KKU students, personnel, provided with full equipment, knowledge, labs and other kinds of bodies of knowledge.

International collaboration

  • University of Georgia, USA, United States
  • College of Health Sciences Ahmad Yani Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • South West University or Xinan University, China
  • Adelaide University, Australia
  • Deakin University, Australia
  • Gifu University, Japan
  • Hue University, Vietnam
  • International University,[5] Cambodia
  • Kochi University, Japan
  • Kyoto University, Japan
  • Nanzan University, Japan
  • National University of Laos, Laos
  • Mie University, Japan
  • Muhammadiyah University, Indonesia
  • University of Tsukuba, Japan, Japan
  • Osaka University, Japan
  • Saga University, Japan
  • Thai Nguyen University, Vietnam
  • University of Canberra, Australia
  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • Fujita Health University, Japan
  • National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Vietnam

Traditions and student activity

Graduation ceremony

Commencement Day of each year is in the period of December. This act of generosity by the King to tradition in Thai institutions of higher education that the King or his representative will preside over the graduation ceremonies of public universities. This tradition continues today. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has made a graduation ceremony at KKU and carried on until 1998.

The candidates are dressed in honorable gowns awaiting The King or Her Royal Majesty, Princess Maha Chakkri Sirinthon to hand over the diploma. Their family had the chance to witness this honorable moment.

Social Responsibility and Volunteers

There are many organizations for student volunteer camps such as Khon Kaen Volunteer Club. KKU students who will be nominated for graduation must do activities for self-development and a social responsibility

Loy Krathong

Sithan Festival is 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 KKU students and faculty and those who live in KhonKaen, to come to the university to float their krathongs on the university's pond.


The university provides a range of sports and fitness facilities for general use. There is a large gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, badminton, judo, table tennis, and aerobics. Outdoor facilities include grass pitches for football, field hockey, rugby, and softball, as well as tennis courts and swimming pools. Many of the facilities are intended primarily for academic courses; however, when not in use, they are available for general use and academic recreation. Students who want to relax in their free

Debate tournaments

In 2012, KKU won the bid to host university and high school students from schools from across the country for the eighth edition of the national debate tournament—the European Union-Thailand Intervarsity Debate Championship (also known as the 8th EU-TH). The tournament, sponsored by the European Union, was modeled on the European Universities Debating Championship (EUDC). The latest edition, the 9th EU-TH was held in May 2014.[6]

Notable alumni

  • Witoon Suriyawanakul: Businessman, Billionaire CEO
  • Peerapong Jaroon-Ek: Billionaire CEO, Chairman of Origin Property Pcl
  • Somsak Kiatsuranont: Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand
  • Apisamai Srirangsan: Psychiatrist, News Anchor
  • Surapong Tovichakchaikul: The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
  • Kobchai Sungsitthisawad: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry (Thailand), CEO
  • Taweesin Visanuyothin: Psychiatrist
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul: film director, screenwriter, and film producer
  • Sukollawat Kanarot: Thai Actor
  • Tanwarin Sukkhapisit: Film director, politician
  • Harin Suthamjarusl: Singer of Tattoo Colour
  • Niane Sivongxay: herpetologist
  • Jatupat Boonpattararaksa: Social Activist


  1. "Archived copy" (in th). 
  2. "Archived copy" (in th). 
  3. "สำนักหอสมุด มหาวิทยาลัยขอนแก่น". 
  4. "KKU Council Members" (in en-US). 
  5. "Strengthening academic ties with Thailand" (Press release). IU International Relations Office. 21 March 2007. Archived from the original on 11 July 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2007.
  6. "European Union Thailand National Debate Tournament Moves from Bangkok to the Northeast" (News > Commentary). Isaan Record. 30 October 2012. "KHON KAEN-For the past seven years, the European Union has sponsored the European Union Thailand National Inter-varsity Debate Tournament (EUTH) with the objective of stimulating critical thinking, democratic values, and English proficiency among Thai youth. However, this year marks a first for the event as organizers moved the tournament outside of the capital in an effort to expand beyond the predominantly Bangkok-based participants."