Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Archanya Ratana-Ubol is a leader in the promotion of adult education to peers and students, an innovator for the organization of an annual international conference on lifelong learning, and her expansive knowledge contributes greatly to the field that she has made her life’s work.
Ratana-Ubol graduated from the Chulalongkorn University (CU), Bangkok and completed her doctorate at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. On her return to Thailand she joined the Department of Education at the Open University of Bangkok. She coordinated Distance Learning for Adult Learners, an innovative approach to provide learning opportunities for people who were no longer in school. She was then selected as a lecturer at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University, which is regarded as Thailand’s Harvard University. She eventually changed the department name to “Lifelong Education” and became head of the department in 2001. Under her guidance, the department has delivered different levels of educational programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs. She received the Faculty of Education Alumni Award in 2014.
Ratana-Ubol has orchestrated two major aspects of international collaboration: an annual International conference and a regular International study for students. First, the International Conference on Adult and Lifelong Learning for All has been conducted since 2013 at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Participants from 16 countries present various concurrent sessions on topics related to a yearly theme, and they often return home and initiate adult and lifelong learning conferences in their own countries. The yearly themes focus on various aspects of lifelong learning for all, including sustainable practices, knowledge creation and mobilization, empowerment, fostering the love of lifelong learning, and intergenerational learning.
Additionally, during her years as the Department Chair at CU, she initiated the international collaboration between two universities: Lindenwood University (LU) in Missouri and Chulalongkorn University (CU) in Bangkok. Moreover, this was the first international study program to Lindenwood University. Since 2013, there have been 33 students from Thailand enrolled in 23 courses at LU for a total of 79 student enrollments. The outcome is to help enhance Chulalongkorn University students to better understanding different perspectives of adult, lifelong learning, and non-formal education of different culture, while the other countries also learn the Thai perspective of these elements.
Included in Ratana-Ubol’s achievements is a focus on introducing the value of lifelong learning in elder years by promoting research in factors of aging and intergenerational communications. She formed senior groups in local communities where the elderly meet on a regular basis to participate in activities of learning and sharing knowledge, particularly conserving the culture of Thailand. She serves on numerous committees involving the implementation of teaching strategies and keeps current with international developments and changes in the field of adult education. She has published numerous articles and books relating to education and issues pertaining to learners. She has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Adult and Elderly Education Conference and to participate in the International Conference of Culture, Biography, and Lifelong Learning (ICCBL).