History of the University
AntecedentsThe establishment of Kasetsart University was part of the evolution of agricultural education in the country which began with the founding of a system of technical schools. This era may be divided into three periods. 1.) In the initial period (1904-1913), agricultural education was first established. In 1904, Prince Phichaimahintharodom, Director of the Department of Sericulture of the Ministry of Agriculture, founded the School of Sericulture in Tambon Thung Saladaeng, Bangkok, adjacent to the mulberry gardens and the Sericulture Experimental Station. Initially, the School offered a two-year program devoted to sericulture alone, but in 1906, the program was extended to three years and expanded to include instruction on the cultivation of other crops and also on veterinary science, and at the same time, the name of the institution was changed to the School of Agriculture. In 1908, the Ministry of Agriculture merged the three schools under its jurisdiction, namely, the School of Surveying, which had been founded in 1882, the School of Irrigation, founded in 1905, and the School of Agriculture, in order to train personnel to serve in the various departments and divisions of the Ministry. The school was named the School of the Ministry of Agriculture and was located in the Sapathum Palace. At the same time, a new curriculum, Thailand’s first tertiary-level agriculture curriculum, was drawn up and was inaugurated in 1909. In 1913, the Government of Siam merged the School of the Ministry of Agriculture with the Civil Service School, which was established under the Ministry of Public Instruction and Religion, because the purposes of the two were identical. Agricultural education was thus placed under the Ministry of Public Instruction and Religion.
2.) In the middle period (1914-1923), the first primary school agriculture teacher training school was established. The Minister of Public Instruction and Religion, Chao Phraya Thammasakmontri (Sanan Thep-hatsadin na Ayutthaya), founded the Primary School Agriculture Teacher Training School at Ban Suan Luang in Bangkok. The School offered a two-year program for graduates of Secondary Level 3 (the entrance requirement was later raised to Secondary Level 6). Upon completion of the program, graduates were awarded a certificate in primary school agricultural education. In 1918, the School was relocated to Tambon Phra Prathon in the Meuang District of Nakhorn Pathom Province. 3.) In the later period (1924-1942), the primary school agriculture teacher training school system was established in all regions of the country. In 1924, the Primary School Agriculture Teacher Training School was moved from Nakhorn Pathom Province to Tambon Bang Saphan Yai in Bang Saphan District of Prajuab Khirikhan Province, and in 1926, a second primary school agriculture teacher training school was established in Tambon Thap Kwang in Kaeng Khoi District of Saraburi Province. Following this, agricultural education on the primary and secondary levels was provided through primary- and secondary-level agriculture technical schools. Toward the end of the year 1931, Mom Chao Sitthiphorn Kritdakorn, Director of the Agricultural Research Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, proposed that agricultural research stations be set up in the Northeastern, Southern, and Northern Regions together with primary school agriculture teacher training schools so that agricultural research and agricultural education could be carried out in concert. As a result, primary school agriculture teacher training schools and agricultural experiment stations were established in each region of the country, and in this way, the Ministry of Agriculture once again became involved in agricultural education. In 1933, the Non Wat Primary School Agriculture Teacher Training School was established in Tambon Non Sung, Non Sung District, Nakhorn Ratchasima Province, and the Mae Jo Primary School Agriculture Teacher Training School was established in Tambon Nong Han, Sansai District, Chiang Mai Province. In 1934, the Khor Hong Primary School Agriculture Teacher Training School was established in Tambon Khor Hong, Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province. The operating of agricultural experiment stations in conjunction with the three primary school agriculture teacher training schools proved to be an excellent model of the interplay between research and education. The first experiment-station-head-cum-headmasters were Luang Ingkhasikasikan at Non Wat, Luang Suwan Vajokkasikij at Khor Hong, and Phra Chuangkasetsinlapakan at Mae Jo. In 1935, agricultural education policy changed once again. The government, concerned that the numbers of agriculture teachers graduated would be in excess of needs, decided to close the three new primary school agriculture teacher training schools. In response, Luang Ingkhasikasikan, Luang Suwan Vajokkasikij, and Phra Chuangkasetsinlapakan together proposed a project whereby the Mae Jo school was retained as a secondary-level agriculture technical school. This was later elevated to become the College of Agriculture, with the status of a division in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. The person appointed to serve as the first director of the College was Phra Chuangkasetsinlapakan. Also in 1935, the Ministry of Agriculture established in Phrae Province another technical school, namely the School of Forestry, which offered a two-year program, and shortly later, this was made a part of the College of Agriculture. In 1938, the Ministry of Agriculture established the Central Agriculture Station, or Kaset Klang, in Bang Khen District of Bangkok, the area in which the main campus of Kasetsart University is located. The College of Agriculture was moved from Mae Jo to Bang Khen, and Luang Suwan Vajokkasikij became the director. The College offered three-year certificate programs in three fields: agriculture, cooperative science, and forestry. Students of the agriculture program studied all three years at Bang Khen, while students of the cooperative science program studied their first two years at Bang Khen and their third year at the Department of Cooperatives at Tha Thian in order to facilitate their practical training. The forestry program was conducted at the School of Forestry in Phrae Province.