Thailand Today and Dr. Drew Share Sasin’s Innovative “IDEALS” Approach

08 Mar 2024
In an insightful interview on the TV program Thailand Today, Sasin’s Dr. Drew B. Mallory gave the country an inside look at the school’s groundbreaking IDEALS policy – Thailand’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative for higher education. Speaking with host Dhra Dhirakakosal on March 1, 2024, Dr. Drew explained how IDEALS was developed over four years through extensive consultations with students, staff, alumni, the business community and community partners. This stakeholder-driven approach identified key areas for improving the inclusion of many groups at the School and beyond. At its core, IDEALS promotes inclusion as the critical starting point to ensure that all individuals feel welcomed and able to thrive. It explicitly values Diversity across gender, age, nationality, disabilities, and other characteristics. The Equity pillar proactively creates opportunities to support disadvantaged groups, while Access to Learning eliminates barriers in the educational experience. Dhra and Dr. Drew discussed Sasin’s first-in-Thailand innovative inclusion initiatives like:
  • Counseling and wellness resources to support mental health for staff and students
  • Academic disability accommodation policies and accessibility enhancements
  • LGBTQI+ inclusive guidelines and training for staff and students and new inclusive health policies for same-sex partners
  • The pioneering Neurodiversity at Work Research Center, which partners with social enterprise Steps with local employers to create meaningful jobs for those with autism, Down syndrome and other neurodivergent conditions
The interview focused on Sasin’s plans to thread DEI across policies, training, curriculum and culture to develop compassionate, inclusive leaders prepared to build diverse, equitable and thriving organizations. Importantly, Dhra and Dr. Drew discussed the need for DEI in Thailand to be backed by research and cultural adaptations. While inclusive organizations consistently demonstrate higher productivity, creativity, employee engagement and retention, these effects are not guaranteed. A localized, stakeholder-driven approach carefully adapting global best practices is crucial for success, especially in Thailand. The interview showcased Sasin’s leadership in advancing inclusive education and business in Thailand. Dr. Drew invited viewers to visit to learn more about IDEALS and explore partnering opportunities as organizations increasingly recognize DEI as a competitive advantage.  
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