Burma/Myanmar | University of Oxford
Ancient pagodas in Myanmar
The ancient pagodas covered by dust storm in Bagan, Myanmar.
(Image credit: Shutterstock).

Burma/Myanmar

Oxford runs a substantial programme of educational assistance in Burma. The University’s goal is to support peaceful and inclusive democracy, strengthened rule of law, and the provision of greater economic opportunities through higher education.

Despite a change of government following 2015’s elections, Burma/Myanmar continues to be plagued by persistent ethnic strife as well as generally low standards of development.

Aiming to address these issues, Oxford has offered vital assistance in the development of higher education, as well as support in important areas related to the development of the country’s civic life, economy and environmental practices.

The University continues its programme of assistance with the goal of aiding in the development of a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future for all Burma’s citizens.

The challenge

After decades of decline, Burma’s universities struggle to provide stimulating education and to instil the knowledge the country needs to flourish. Burma needs to modernise its political system, laws and economy, and begin the process of societal change. This tectonic shift must start with better education. Universities can be a driver of national change, but only if empowered to provide teaching and research that meets the nation’s needs.

Unique expertise

Oxford is aiding Burma’s development through a series of programmes that improve education and research in key social and economic areas. We have authored new texts on Burmese law and provided guest teaching for students and practitioners in a range of legal areas. Building a well-educated quorum of lawyers in the country will help protect hard-won constitutional rights and ensure good business practices as the economy expands.

Burma’s social development can also be helped by Oxford-led research investigating topics such as the position of Burma’s minorities, and the important but undervalued role women play in the country’s economy. Oxford has provided assistance to several Burmese educational institutions to help them develop their teaching and curriculum in politics and other social science areas.

To help Burma sustain its natural wealth, Oxford has launched a collaborative programme to monitor the state of the rare clouded leopard in the country’s northern forests. As well as camera trapping this charismatic animal, the programme includes educating staff from Yangon and local conservation charities in conservation techniques and zoology research methods. As well as working to preserve wildlife in the country, Oxford has also provided guest teaching in geology.

Please note:  The University of Oxford has no position on the correct name for the country referred to variously as ‘Burma’ and ‘Myanmar’ or for the city known as ‘Yangon’ and ‘Rangoon’. The choice of one name over another—or where both names are used, the order in which they appear—should not be taken as a statement of policy. In line with the University's commitment to work impartially with all actors, usage will reflect the nature and context of individual situations.