Updated: 2016-03-09

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Technical College in Ayutthaya of Thailand is a vocational and technical institute with a long history. The first overseas Luban Workshop, named after Lu Ban, an ancient Chinese craftsman who lived during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and represents the Chinese tradition of the craftsmanship spirit, was established in the college on March 8, 2016.

The establishment of the China-sponsored Lu Ban Workshop initiative has ushered in a new chapter in China-Thailand cooperation on vocational education and set a good example for the internationalized development of Chinese vocational education.

Jarun Youbrum, president of the college, said at its opening ceremony that Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn made a proposal to her people regarding vocational education to visit North China's Tianjin when she learned the development of its vocational education during an inspection trip several years ago. Education authorities in Thailand thus invited Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Technical College and several other vocational institutes to visit Tianjin.

During that visit, Thailand built a partnership of cooperation with several vocational colleges in Tianjin. Moreover, the college also reached an agreement with Tianjin Bohai Vocational Technical College on further strengthening bilateral cooperation on vocational education, with the implementation of Luban Workshop training program as the mainstay.

Supported by Tianjin Municipal Education Commission, the training program quickly started. Since then, Thai students have been provided with financial assistance during their academic studies at Tianjin Bohai Vocational Technical College under the Chinese initiative.

The robust development of their cooperation has accelerated the building of the phase two project of the Luban Workshop in Thailand, which covers multiple fields like mechatronics, numerical control techniques, the internet of things and new vehicles.

With the support of Tianjin Bohai Vocational Technical College, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Technical College has created a string of new academic majors and enjoyed a better development in the distribution of educational resources and the improvement of teaching standards than other Thai vocational institutes.

Vocational colleges in many other countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan and South Africa have visited Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Technical College to study the operation of the Luban Workshop initiative over the past few years.

Right now, the Luban Workshop program has been introduced to eight countries, including Britain, India, Indonesia, Cambodia and several African nations.