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.
1. Natural Rubber : Rubber policy research/ economics, Integrated research to strengthen rubber industry, Life cycle assessment, Breeding development, Horticulture , Industrial processing and marketing policy
2. Palm Oil : Horticulture , Industrial processing and Marketing and Policy
3. Natural Resource in the Southern Peninsular and Management : Biodiversity , Ocean and Coastal line and Songkhla Lake Basin
4. Energy : Bio-energy , Hydro-energy , Wind energy , Energy policy and Energy conservation
5. Food : Sea food , Palm oil , Fruit and Vegetable , Healthy food and Halal
6. Health Science : Health technology , Medical RCD , Emerging disease , Health management system , Medical rehabilitation and Medical indigenous knowledge
7. Material Science : Environment and energy , Medical and health , Plastic , Sensors and Metal
8. Natural Disaster and Climate Change in Southern Thailand : Area-based problems , Types , Disaster management , Related research topics and Climate change
9. Southern Border : Education , Public health , Society , Economy , Politic and Stability management
10. ASEAN Community : Development and Protection, Stability, conflict resolution and peace building , Community, tradition, and ASEAN way , Economics , Environment , Development of integrated rule of laws standard under ASEAN Chapter , BOI development , Human resource development , Cooperation/partnership building , Urban development
11. Logistic and Tourism : Logistics and supply chain of creative economic industry , Logistics and supply chain of tourism , Logistics Productivity , Health Care Supply Chain , Restoration and support toward sustainability , Brand Equity , Confidence in products and services , Tourism in border area , Tourism in the lake basin area , Creative economy , Tourism application