Former dentistry lecturer at Mahidol University Dolrudee Jumlongras is the only one among 5,000 state scholarship grantees who breached her scholarship contract and left the burden of paying off the debt to her guarantors. According to Arporn Kaenwong, secretary-general of the Office of the Higher Education Commission (Ohec), only 23 out of the 5,000 scholarship recipients between 1992 and 2005 did not eventually return to Thailand. Unlike Dr Dolrudee, most other recipients who chose not to come back to Thailand found better jobs abroad and they agreed to repay three times the scholarship debt as stipulated in the contract, she said.
One of the guarantors stuck with the bill for runaway dentist Dolrudee Jumlongras' unpaid 30 million baht student loan said on Wednesday she had sent a new email from the United States promising yet again to repay the money. Dentist Padet Poolwithayakit posted the details on his Facebook account. He said Ms Dolrudee had sent an email to another guarantor insisting that she had every intention to repay them, as she had repeatedly promised previously. Mr Padet said Ms Dolrudee sent this email: "As I mentioned to you, P'Pui, P'Padet and Aj Araya several times that I will pay all of you the loan you got plus interest. I'm still looking for a way to find the money to pay you and perhaps, it may be better that you hear it directly from me so that you can be reassured that I will do it as I promise?" The message also said, "I just talked to P'Pui and she's aware of my intention and sincerity. Please give me the best number and time for me to call you."
Mahidol University and the Office of the Higher Education Commission (Ohec) are planning to file a lawsuit to have its former dentistry lecturer, Dolrudee Jumlongras, declared bankrupt, in order to help collect her scholarship debt. Banchong Mahaisavariya, vice-president of Mahidol University, said at a press conference Tuesday that he is discussing with Ohec about using legal means to force her into bankruptcy before the 10-year statute of limitations expires on Feb 14 this year. Dr Dolrudee is now a US citizen having married and settled down in the US. This puts her beyond the reach of Thai law, Dr Banchong said. "Under Thai law, if Dr Dolrudee is not bankrupt, we are unable to take legal action, seize her property or even ask the Immigration Office to help screen for her at airports in case she returns to Thailand. All we can do is file a civil lawsuit and follow legal procedures," he said.
Dr Dolrudee, who allegedly breached her state scholarship contract and left a 30-million-baht debt with her guarantors, currently works at Harvard University. Dr Dolrudee's four guarantors for her Master's degree and PhD at Harvard over a period of 10 years from 1993 have already cleared a 10-million-baht debt negotiated with the Comptroller General's Department. Dr Banchong said that Dr Dolrudee remains fully responsible for the entire scholarship debt of 30 million baht.