|A Buddhist monk takes
pictures of the fresh graduates after a convocation ceremony
at Yangon University earlier this year. According to government
officials the literacy rate in Myanmar is more than 90 percent.
FOR a poor nation to progress to a developed nation, the use
and improvement of human resources is as important as the utilisation
of natural resources.
Developed countries have moved away from relying on natural
resources for growth and have instead focused on the knowledge
economy. Services rather than manufacturing driving continued
In Myanmar, the government has improved its higher education
system so it is harmonised internationally and can build up the
number of trained professionals across various sectors. Accordingly,
the educational policy for the higher education is accessibility,
quality and diversity.
Each year more than 500,000 students who matriculated enrol
in Myanmar’s different universities, according to their
scores. About 2400 top-scoring students are given the chance to
attend the Institute of Medicine’s six-year course, which
is the most popular in the country.
Students missing the chance to study medicine can attend the
dental, pharmacy, nursing, basic health and traditional medicine
courses, which together accept another 2000 students annually.
The next most popular courses are at engineering, computers
and marine universities, with courses often providing jobs internationally.
These universities accept more than 25,000 students a year.
Languages are also popular, depending on the foreign companies
operating in Myanmar. The higher salaries paid by foreign companies
encourage matriculation students to join universities offering
Foreign Languages. Popular courses are English, Chinese, Korean,
Japanese and French.
Students who want to work with animals, often in the remote
areas in Myanmar, can study veterinary science courses, which
accept 100 students a year. Also, the Institute of Agriculture
accepts about 300 students and the Institute of Forestry about
50 students a year.
Other students study at science or art universities, which offer
a wide range of subjects.
Since the 2001-2002 academic year the government has introduced
various diplomas and masters courses to give students knowledge
in business and computer-related subjects – useful for many
jobs in Myanmar.
More than 700,000 students are now attending the 156 universities
in Myanmar, which employ more than 10,000 teachers. About 13,000
students are also enrolled in one or two-year business-related
courses, offered by the universities under the human resource
development program. In the 20 years from 1988 to 2008 the total
number of graduates from Myanmar universities is about 1.5 million.