The dominant existence of Japanese companies in Thailand is regarded as a factor that has encouraged Thai youth to study in Japan and to return to Thailand after graduation. However, there is a change of human needs in Thai society as its economy develops: the Thai government has introduced policies to upgrade its industrial structure and increase the value of its products, in order to escape from the “trap of middle-income countries.” Such policies require more highly-developed human resources who are capable of research and
The establishment of Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology, which aims to foster practical engineers who will meet the human needs of the Japanese companies in Thailand also influences the tendency for Thai youth to study in Japan. Changes in regional international relations, such as the rise of China as an economic power and the attendant increase of Thai students who study in China, should also be considered when analyzing the merit of study in Japan within the Thai society.
In this study, the role of Thai graduates from Japanese universities is analyzed through the use of statistics, documentary analysis, interviews, and questionnaire surveys, considering the above mentioned factors. As the result of these analyses, it was discovered that presently a career at Japanese companies in Thailand is not particularly attractive for Thai youth who plan to study abroad. To re-affirm the attractiveness of studying in Japan, it is necessary to develop a narrative of Japan as a place to foster human resources who are capable of research and development, and can be the foundation of an attractive career path for such people.