Examining Student Satisfaction and Benefits Distribution Towards the Student Loan Fund: A Case of Higher Education Institutions in Thailand
The problem of social inequality in Thailand had risen, reducing educational opportunities for many more Thai students. It was mainly caused by income inequality. With this problem, the Thai government formulated a policy on tackling the inequality of educational opportunity. As a result, the Student Loan Fund was established to provide a chance to Thai students to access to higher education. Those students should come from poor families with annual incomes of less than 200,000 baht. The Student Loan Fund was aimed at fixing the problem of social inequality only. However, according to the results of this study, it was found that the Student Loan Fund failed to provide more opportunities to the Thai students with poor family background due to its inefficient management. The benefits offered by the Student Loan Fund were not distributed to the borrowers whose families were truly poor. The process of applying for student loans created by the Student Loan Fund had allowed higher education institutions to have too much authority to select loan recipients and approve student loans. Consequently, the difference of student loan application process between state universities and national universities occurred. As far as benefits distribution of student loans was concerned, students from middle-income families enjoyed such benefits more than those from poor households. In addition, it did not correspond to the objectives of the Student Loan Fund, reflecting that the benefits of student loans were not distributed fairly.