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While Thai higher education has sought to facilitate social mobility for local Thai farmers who are among the poorest in the country, the socio-economic status of farmers seems to be in decline. This study explores the perspectives of scholars and notable farmers in regards to the role of higher education within the context of Thai farmers seeking qualitative data to answer the question “What has higher education done to enhance life quality for local farmers?” Eight participants were interviewed for this qualitative study. Two participants are notable farmers, one is a local activist in northern Thailand, and the rest are academics researching in this field. Two themes emerged from these interviews:
1. There is a lack of attempts to understand lived experiences of local farmers by institutions of higher learning; and
2. Thai higher education has been dominated primarily by Western ideology/modernity which further complicates the lives of local farmers
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