ABAC Launches Three New Future-Forward Programs: DUET, IME, and DDI to Appeal to Gen Z

ABAC Launches Three New Future-Forward Programs: DUET, IME, and DDI to Appeal to Gen Z
Equipping Millennial Students with Well-Rounded Essential Skills to Keep Up with the Fast-Changing World, Get Ready to Become Young Entrepreneurs in the Digital Era.

Assumption University (ABAC), Thailand’s first international university, prioritizes equipping undergraduates with essential skills so that they will be able to take pride in dealing with challenges in the 21st century. To this end, Assumption university launched three new learning programs aimed at offering students more choices. These future-facing programs began with the introduction of the Design and Digital Innovation (DDI) program in 2021, followed by the double degree (DUET) and Imagineer Media Entrepreneurship (IME) programs this year. All programs focus on equipping undergraduates with essential skills and enhancing their potential through the use of technologies and innovations so that they will be ready for next-generation businesses and truly become future leaders and entrepreneurs in the digital era.

Rev. Bro. Dr. Bancha Saenghiran, Rector of Assumption University, said, “Today’s students, the generation Z, have grown up with smartphones, computers, and advanced technologies. Assumption University has given priority to preparing undergraduates with essential skills so that they will be ready for dealing with challenges in the rapidly changing world in the 21st century, where special expertise and essential skills are needed to solve problems as robotics and automations are increasingly leveraged to replace humans in the workplaces in order to enhance efficiency and improve performance in the labor market.”

Traditional teaching and learning approaches might not match the current circumstance, so the university developed new learning programs that better respond to the changing world. Students can choose to study not only the subjects created for a particular curriculum, but they are also allowed to choose any subjects they like to study according to their potential and areas of interest. Students can also choose to study any subjects that they think can further enhance their career growth in the future.

This is a new milestone in education development in which the learning programs are designed to match the lifestyles of new-generation students and millennial learners. Assumption University recently launched the Double Degree Program (DUET), which allows students to study any curricula and subjects that suit their area of interest in two faculties so that students can have essential skills needed for the S-Curve industries and the world’s megatrends in the foreseeable future. An ‘S-curve’ describes the path that typical companies go through as they enter the marketplace and begin to undergo cycles of growth and stagnation.

With these three new programs, students have more choices in education to increase engagement and empowerment by matching different curricula with different faculties. The double degree educational programs are led by five academics: Asst. Prof. Dr. Uree Cheasakul, Dean of the Martin de Tours School of Management and Economics (also known as MSME Business School); Asst. Prof. Dr. Pannawit Sanitnarathorn, Dean of the Louis Nobiron School of Music; Dr. Marissa Chantamas, Dean of the Albert Laurence School of Communication Arts; Dr. Songsak Channarukul, Dean of the Vincent Mary School of Science and Technology; and Asst. Prof. Dr. Patchanee Yasurin, Dean of the Theophane Venard School of Biotechnology.

Under the DUET program, students can discover what they want to learn from 10 pairs of newly created four-year curricula, allowing students to achieve two degrees in four years. All learning courses in each curriculum are designed to enhance essential skills that are necessary in the digital world and provide students with an opportunity to engage deeply with their learning, analyzing, and critical thinking to solve problems. The university embraces innovations and new solutions to enhance the potential of students with a group of academics and experienced lecturers sharing their knowledge and set of essential skills. The DUET program is created to appeal to students who want to learn independently as there are a wide range of courses to choose from to match the dreams of individual learners, aimed at generating new career paths and new business opportunities in the digital era. With this, Assumption University students will get ready to take a firm foothold in the digital-driven business landscape with their sights set on the future.

Assumption University also introduced a new Imagineer Media Entrepreneurship (IME) program, which is the ultimate in communication arts studies for the future. As the communication skills obtained solely from the communication arts learning and practice might not be enough these days, the IME program was developed to serve as a collaborative learning program that allows students and learners to deeply engage in skills development and further improve the knowledge as well as cultivate themselves in multiple areas so as to meet the needs of emerging professions in the modern era. Learning courses under the IME program are masterfully and sophisticatedly calibrated to cover the needs in the virtual world under the “metaverse” platform, where people can communicate and interact with each other virtually. The ultimate goal is to encourage all students to become successful young entrepreneurs capable of keeping up with emerging trends in the media industry in the future.

Dr. Marissa Chantamas, Dean of the Albert Laurence School of Communication Arts, said, “The Albert Laurence School of Communication Arts is one of Assumption University’s most popular and outstanding faculties. The school of communication arts has been widely recognized due to its excellence in academic and educational standards, producing many professionals in the media and communication industry over the past 30 years. The faculty has continuously generated a large number of successful media professionals who are widely known and respected in the industry.”, adding, “The IME program is a comprehensive learning program that is newly designed and developed to align with the evolving media landscape in the future. Students and learners do not only have knowledge on communication arts in particular, but they also learn essential skills as the program will foster specific abilities that are necessary for an entrepreneur to grow in the communication industry.”

The IME program is divided into four disciplines: Communications, Art and Design, Business Management, and Information Technology. Additionally, it prioritizes providing students with hands-on experiences under the real-world environment of media specialists, professionals, and leading media companies in Thailand and abroad. The highly accredited partner universities around the globe will share their experiences and knowledge with students under the IME program. Students are also encouraged to enroll in the summer study abroad programs for a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience with educational achievement certificates provided after graduation. Importantly, learners can set their own goals and chart the learning path and course structure so they may gain a degree in three years or four years before pursuing a second degree. The Imagineer Media Entrepreneurship program focuses on delving into three areas: Game, Visual Arts, and the Metaverse. Students are assured of having a fun learning environment while learning practical skills and pragmatic competencies for their future professions.

Assumption University also launched in 2021 the Design & Digital Innovation (DDI) program, an innovative curriculum offered by the Martin de Tours School of Management and Economics (MSME Business School). It is created in response to the diverse preferences of next-generation students and learners in the 5G-driven era. The DDI program focuses on providing students with multi-dimensional skills development, including improving competencies in business, technology, innovation, design, human resource, and organizational development. The DDI program aims to encourage students to become successful entrepreneurs that create new digital-driven businesses and innovations in the digital world.

Dr. Panjarat Phumpradab, Chairperson of the Department of Design and Digital Innovation, MSME Business School, said, “The Design and Digital Innovation (DDI) program is a business management program for the future. It is a three-year degree, focusing on using new ideas in developing essential skills in multiple aspects in collaboration with five faculties: Martin de Tours School of Management and Economics (MSME Business School), the Vincent Mary School of Science and Technology, the Montfort del Rosario School of Architecture and Design, the Albert Laurence School of Communication Arts, and the Louis Nobiron School of Music. The future-forward DDI program focuses on the active learning approach, in which 80% of its teaching and learning activities are projects, business simulations, and business cases in accordance with each student’s interests. These activities equip students with a well-rounded skill-set in management, technology innovation, design, human resource, and organizational development. In so doing, the program fosters entrepreneurial skills and interests so that the students will be successful digital entrepreneurs equipped with all-inclusive business development and management skills.”

The launch of the Design & Digital Innovation (DDI) program represents a new milestone on the education development roadmap that fortifies the reputation of Martin de Tours School of Management and Economics (MSME Business School) as the leader in business administration programs in the modern era. The “Startup Business Sandbox” presents opportunities for enthusiastic students with an entrepreneurial spirit and dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs to test out their business models. There are also pitching sessions for scale-up funding support or seed funds for students to grow their businesses further. The university academics will serve as the mentors to closely provide business advisory services and coaching for students. For the most efficient entrepreneurial skills development, the DDI collaborated with experts from leading companies and world-class corporations such as DELL, S-Curve (Official Google Partner), True, Shopee, Ui Path, CIMA, and GQ to empower the entrepreneurial skills for students. Furthermore, the DDI program gives students the freedom to choose their subjects of interest from more than 800 courses available across faculties at the university, such as Mobile Application Design and Development, Data Science, Music Business, Global Supply Chain Management, Communication Arts, and Furniture Design. The program serves those who dream of becoming young entrepreneurs. Students looking for a learning destination with future-forward education programs are attracted to the DDI offerings. It is where they can learn by doing, translate business ideas into practice, and start running their business while studying at the university.

The DDI program is growing in popularity among millennials, next-generation students, and learners. There are currently approximately 120 forward-looking students with an entrepreneurial passion enrolled in the program. Last year, a team of three first-year students from the program received a winning award in the First Innovation Challenge category at the 2021 PRU Fintegrate Competition hosted by Prudential in November 2021. The award is a testimony to the success of the DDI program.

All three new learning programs of Assumption University are suitable for forward-thinking undergraduate students who are enthusiastic about keeping up with the fast-changing world and latest trends and staying one step ahead of others in exploring and running new businesses in the future world.

Application for the DUET (www.duet.au.edu), the IME (www.ca.au.edu/ime), and the DDI (www.ddi.au.edu) programs are currently being accepted. Those interested may apply online or in person at Assumption University’s application center at two campuses (Hua Mark Campus and Suvarnabhumi Campus).