More than 7,000 students have already been awarded SET scholarships. Without that support, many would have been unable to study beyond junior high school.
Most donations go into our scholarship fund, unless the donor advises that it should be used for some other program. In 2016, we awarded 1,482 scholarships to students at high schools, vocational colleges and universities and in 2017 will award a similar number.
SET guarantees support for its students all the way through their study years, from junior high school to vocational diploma or university degree. We continue to support them to whatever level they personally feel they can achieve. By the time their studies are complete, some students will have been supported for up to twelve years.
SET doesn’t award scholarships on a ‘current semester’ only basis. That would be a short-sighted policy of no lasting benefit to the students. To SET, quality and continuity of support is as important as the number of students supported. If a student is awarded a scholarship, it is guaranteed for the entire length of his or her present course and can be extended if the student continues studying to a higher level.
Knowing they have continuity of support, SET students can study without worrying where their next semester’s fees and expenses will come from. Continuity is guaranteed but grade average, attendance and behavior are taken into account. Welfare officers may recommend that a scholarship be withdrawn if a student doesn’t meet acceptable standards. That rarely happens. Simply knowing they have SET support often encourages students in their determination to study, as well as in their general behavior.
There are two semesters in the Thai academic year. SET scholarship values in 2017 are 3,000 Baht per semester for high school children (total 36,000 Baht for the full six years of study), 5,000 Baht per semester for vocational students in a three-year basic certificate course (30,000 Baht) and 10,000 Baht per semester for college students in the additional/optional two-year higher diploma course (40,000 Baht). Our university students receive 10,000 Baht per semester. For a four-year BA degree, that’s a total of 80,000 Baht. For students studying to be teachers in a five-year BEd course: 100,000 Baht. Majors in medical fields may be six-year courses: 120,000 Baht. See the Currency Converter in the right hand column.
Although most scholarships are awarded to first-year students, SET will give a scholarship to any needy student at any time during his or her course. Some students get into financial difficulties part-way through their course and may be at risk of dropping out. We never want that to happen. In such cases, we may award a scholarship in the student’s second, third or even final year.
Where are SET’s students studying?
Most students study at eleven SET scholarship centers at schools, vocational colleges and universities in provinces in the lower northern region. With mainly volunteer staff, it is administratively and logistically more efficient to keep our activities as centralized as possible.
What are SET’s students studying?
Our students are studying for a wide range of university degrees and vocational qualifications. Subjects include English, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Engineering, Maths, Electronics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geography, History, Management, Law, Social Development, Public Administration, Political Science, Marketing, Agricultural Technology, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Plant Science, Commerce, Food Science, Education Administration, Elementary & Primary Education, Physical Education, Electrical Engineering, Secretarial, Music, Fine Art, Ceramics, Dressmaking, Industrial Design, Auto Mechanics, Arc Welding, Building, Surveying, Physical Therapy, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Radiology, Psychology, Medical Technology, Cardio-Thoracic Technology, and Nursing.
How are students assessed for support?
New students are chosen and assessed carefully but poverty isn’t the only factor considered. SET’s criteria is always proven need plus proven diligence. Poor students can be lazy, no less than those from wealthier backgrounds, so diligence and motivation must play a part in the decision whether to offer support.
When students are assessed, SET relies greatly on the voluntary help of welfare and teaching staff – we have more than 70 volunteers at our main centers. As an example of the assessment procedure, at the opening of a recent academic year, 80 new scholarships were offered to a university. More than 900 students applied. Each student first completed a comprehensive questionnaire detailing his or her financial needs and family situation. Over a three-week period, a team of 30 welfare officers and teachers interviewed every applicant. Based on the questionnaires and interviews, a list of 100 of the neediest students was prepared. Welfare staff then visited the home of every applicant to check the family situation. After several weeks’ work, the list was reduced to 80 students and welfare officers made their recommendations to SET. It’s a long and careful process to ensure that SET supports only the brightest and most deserving students.