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

Oxford and Burma

As Burma enters a critical year in its ongoing transition to democracy, Oxford is building on its substantial programme of aid to the country.

Nick RawlinsProfessor Rawlins signing an MOU with Yangon University.

Receiving an honorary degree in June 2012, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma’s National League for Democracy (NLD), called on the University to support the redevelopment of education in her country.

The past three years have seen Burma make big strides towards democracy, culminating in last November’s historic elections. Throughout this period Oxford has been offering vital assistance in the development of higher education, as well as aid in important areas related to the development of the country’s civic life, economy and environmental practices.

With a new NLD-led government coming into office in 2016, the University is looking to strengthen and expand its programme of assistance, to guarantee a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future for all Burma’s citizens.

The challenge

Despite the many positive political and economic changes now sweeping Burma, the country’s needs remain immense, particularly in terms of education.

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.

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.