photo by Taweesak Pakdeehoon
This "knowledge centre" - a joint True Coffee and Assumption University effort - offers three learning options: Quick Chinese, World-Class English and Digital Library.
"We first started wondering what customers could do apart from drinking coffee and surfing the Net, and came up with the idea of offering knowledge," says Prapol Rattanachaikanonth, assistant to resident of True Corporation and the university's alumni.
All these programmes were initially provided for just Assumption University students, but now anyone can join.
"It's a university's mission to disseminate knowledge to the public, not just students. Also it's a good chance to mix academic knowledge with cyber technology. I believe it also creates a different learning atmosphere," says Kamol Kitsawad, registrar of the Assumption University.
Quick Chinese is taught by lecturers from Beijing's Tsinghua University - all following a special curriculum developed by Tsinghua University and Assumption University for foreigners. In class, students and lectures get to communicate only in Chinese. A maximum of 18 students per class is allowed and the course is only offered at True Coffee's Siam Square branch.
In World-Class English, learners can improve their language skills via the e-learning program, "Tell Me More". With lessons of up to 850 hours, the program covers reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, grammar and culture. What's special about it is the speech-recognition option which corrects your pronunciation. Learners can buy a three-month package with unlimited access for Bt4,800. Data is recorded and monitored by Assumption University's lecturers, whom you can meet after three months.
For the Digital Library, Assumption University has been spending about Bt10 million every year on digital journals and research material from publishers such as Proquest, Emerald Management Xtra and HW Wilson. And now this fount of knowledge is available to everyone for a mere Bt2,200 per year. However, all this information can only be downloaded at True Coffee.
"When talking about the Internet we think of chat sites like MSN. But it's more valuable if we can use the Net for learning," says Saksit "Tor" Vejsupaporn, singer, pianist and a first-class honour graduate from Assumption university. "I think juniors find it easier to do their thesis and projects by logging on to the digital library. It's full of information and very useful."
For more information, log on to www.truecoffee.com.