Prince of Songkla University (PSU) has been established since 1962 and has opened its door to the first students in 1967. In the beginning, the university emphasized a learning-oriented curriculum aiming to produce graduates in various disciplines in response to high demand by governmental, business and industrial sectors, particularly in southern Thailand. However, once the university strengthened its academic aspect, a number of research studies from many faculties continue to emerge. The university thus adjusted its focus from a learning university toward becoming a research-oriented university. The new policy was announced in 2003. The main factor if a research-oriented university include effective management of research, development and knowledge transfer system as well as an environment that facilitates and inspires the desire to conduct research.
Since 2003, PSU has driven the institution toward becoming research-oriented university by setting strategies such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to each faculty/organization and KPIs for each researcher. Moreover, the university has also set up a research fund, Disciplines of Excellence and designed graduate study programs in accordance to the research mission. In 2009, PSU provides support to help research studies be published in international publications. For these reasons, Office of the Higher Education Commission has selected PSU to be 1 of the 9 National Research Universities in Thailand.