Support for Education


Support for Education



Scholarship Program

Realizing that quality education is required to bring continued progress to Thailand, the Foundation has for twenty years provided scholarships to worthy students who lack the financial resources to further their education


The original thrust of the Foundation's scholarship program was toward scholarships for study at Thai institutions, but scholarships to foreign universities and endowed chairs were also awarded. Prior to 1983 some 35-60 financial grants were awarded each year to Thai students furthering their education at local colleges and universities. One third of these scholarships were designated for students from the metropolitan area while two-thirds went to students in the provinces


Since 1983, the Foundation, in keeping with the present philosophy of the Board, has elected to phase out its scholarships for university education and to direct its efforts toward primary and secondary education. Grants take such forms as equipment, clothing, and funds to develop a self-sufficient school lunch program


Children take part in the Foundation School Lunch Program


School Lunches

In Thailand, where primary education is compulsory for children aged 6-12, nearly 7 million pupils attend more than 30,000 primary schools. The government agency responsible for primary education is the Office of the National Primary Education Commission (ONPEC), Ministry of Education. The promotion of school nutrition has been an area of special attention since research studies indicated that 30 percent of the primary school children throughout the country suffer to some degree from malnutrition


Although the Thai government has attemped to meet the nutritional needs of its youngest citizens, its national budget is already strained and it is unable at this time to cope with this enormous problem alone Thus far, government-supported established in only about 8 percent of the schools under ONPEC's juris diction


Realizing that proper nutrition is vital to the intellectual as well as the physical development of children, the John F. Kennedy Founda tion, in support of ONPEC, established a two-year budget of two million baht for school lunch programs in 100 primary schools. Each schoo will receive funds to purchase food-preparation equipment, fresh and dried food, and material for the cultivation of food products in order to make its lunch program self-sufficient


Begun in 1983 with funds for 50 schools, the program increased by an additional 50 primary schools in 1984. In 1985 a summary report will be prepared, the purpose of which is to evaluate prospects for the Ministry of Education to organize similar self-sufficient school lunch programs in all other schools


  • Scholarships for secondary and university students
  • School Lunch Program
  • Support for Thai Lecturers under Program of the American Council of Learned Societies
  • Support for John F Kennedy-Fulbright professors under the Thai-US Educational Foundation
  • Support for distinguished scholars at the Asian Institute of Technology
  • JFK Foundation Dictionary Project for Thai schools and universities
  • JFK Foundation Medical Dictionary Project for medical students and medical schools
  • JFK-NTU Project supporting satellite-based science, technology and management programs
  • Support of a project to strengthen leadership capacity of secondary school administrators in northern Thailand
  • Support of a project to strengthen educational foundations of pre-school children in northeastern Thailand




JFK Visiting Professors

From 1977 through 1998, in cooperation with the Thailand-United States Educational Foundation, the JFK Visiting Professor Program provided the major support for more than 40 American scholars, who joined Thai universities, sharing their knowledge with students and developing close relationships with their Thai colleagues. These scholars were hosted by one Thai institution but participated in programs at other universities as well. Some scholars’ interactions and contributions lasted long beyond their grant years.


Fredric Swierczek, 1985-1987 JFK Visiting Scholar in Management at Thammasat University and the National Institute for Development Administration (NIDA). Professor Swierczek has remained in Thailand and over the years has continued to make important contributions to higher education, not only in Thailand, but in the region as well.



The John F. Kennedy Library, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani

In 1971, as a gift to the newly established Prince of Songkla University in Pattani, the Foundation provided funds to construct a library for the students and the people of the province, making information and knowledge more accessible to the future generation of leaders.



Dictionary Project

In 1995 the Foundation initiated a 4-year project to provide thousands of English language dictionaries to educational institutions. Thai universities and secondary schools received several copies of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, one of the most widely used dictionaries in the world. In subsequent years a second volume, the Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary was distributed to 3rd and 4th year medical students, medical schools, and hospitals throughout the country.



Support for Higher Education during the Economic Crisis of 1997-1998

The economic turmoil during the mid-1990’s brought difficult times to Thailand, and in no area was the country less prepared to cope than in the higher education sphere. University students often were unable to continue their studies, or cancel had to plans for further education. The Foundation provided one million Baht to the Ministry of University Affairs to assist the agency in its efforts to ensure uninterrupted education of the human resources needed for the nation’s continued development.



Visionary Leadership Project

A project supported by the Foundation in 2019 to strengthen the leadership capacity of secondary school administrators in northern Thailand is now taught as part of the graduate curriculum at Columbia University Teachers College in the United States.



Early Childhood Development Project

Helping teachers, family and communities to strengthen the readiness of pre-school children in northeastern Thailand for success in their learning later on is an ongoing project of the Dek Noi Foundation, supported by the Foundation since 2020.