Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University was established
as a state university in order to provide the people with
increased educational opportunities at university level.
It is an open university, which uses a distance teaching
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King Rama IX, bestowed
the name "Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University"
in honor of King Rama VII, one of whose titles before his
accession to the throne was "Prince Sukhothai Thammaraja".
was officially established by Royal Charter on 5 September
1978, under the name of "Sukhothai Thammathirat Open
University". The University has thus designated 5 September
of each year as the commemorative date of the University's
founding. As the eleventh state university, Sukhothai Thammathirat
Open University has all the honors and privileges of other
universities. It was the first open university in Southeast
Asia to use a distance teaching/learning system.
During 1979-1984, STOU had no home of its own, so it had
to share space with such agencies as the National Education
Commission, Thai Airways, the Faculty of Economics of Chulalongkorn
University, and the Ministry of University Affairs. In 1981
Mr. Mongkol Kanjanapas donated to the University a 130 rai
section of land located in Tambon Bangpood, Amphur Pakkred,
Nonthaburi. As this was not enough to fulfill the objectives
of the University, it bought more land, which made the total
area approximately 135 rai. Construction of Sukhothai Thammathirat
Open University begon in 1982, and on 16 March 1983, Her Royal
Highness, Princess Galyani Wattana graciously consented to
preside over the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony.