The micro-politics of higher education reform in Myanmar

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


The paper examines reforms in the higher education sector to reflect on the trajectory of transformation in Myanmar. The paper draws on case studies from Mandalay University, Yadanabon University and the Mandalay University of Foreign Languages to show how, in an environment that is both centralised and fragmented, change can spring from below. Bottom-up initiatives, in the form of innovation in teaching practices, reveal an encouraging image of Myanmar’s potential for transformation in higher education. They were enabled and supported by leadership at the micro-level (department and individual staff level), and implemented by individual staff members who embraced and ‘owned’ the changes they were adopting and shaping. Staff-led initiatives were welcomed by the students. The paper also revisits the many legacies lingering on as they continue to affect how faculty and students teach and learn.
Period14 Feb 2019
Held atSchool of International Relations
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • Myanmar
  • Mandalay
  • higher education
  • university
  • capacity-building