Foreign universities and institutions are the only sector in Myanmar that has advanced since the coup.
It has grown to be a significant industry and despite the facts, people are obsessed with it. It is important to understand why international universities and institutions have sprung up all throughout South Asia, especially in Myanmar. There are no freebies in this endeavour, it is strictly commercial. Many young people believe that having a degree or diploma from a foreign country will open up fantastic career opportunities, yet this belief is unfounded. Second, how many people in a country like Myanmar can afford such pricey schooling. BBA, MBA, and IT Courses are offered on Facebook and the majority of them have facilitators better referred to as agents working for commission on each admission in Mandalay and Yangon.
The truth is that 90% of students or aspirants are looking for ways out and believe that there are greener pastures waiting for them in western nations, while the reality is quite different. To pay the tuition or rental costs, the majority of them wind up working part time or become victims of under employment. In addition, there is racial abuse since residents of the host country feel that immigrants are stealing their employment and they have a good reason for doing so. Recently, numerous international colleges from the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and India held education fairs in Yangon, but the truth is that the majority of these institutions have less than stellar credentials in their own countries. No state-run institutions or with high credentials ever attend these events, instead, they award scholarships to deserving students through their Embassies or Congressional offices in Myanmar. It seems that degree are on sale and you can purchase depending upon your pockets.
The British Council (BC) has been doing a fantastic job of educating or training people in Myanmar via Cambridge, Edexcel Pearson or IELTS although fee is on the higher end. Myanmar government institutions are not bad nor the faculties but to keep them update should work with other institutions to ensure that everyone in rural Myanmar has access to a quality education at an affordable price. Every student has a unique set of skills, and that needs to be investigated. When someone interacts with elder generations in Myanmar, it is felt that the quality of education has not improved despite internet even basics are weak. Internet or AI may alter a particular class’s perspective, but they cannot alter the realities on the ground. The goal of education is only achieved when society advances as a whole.Myanmar’s economy is largely rural, so the focus should be on bolstering rural infrastructure and putting a focus on skill development, creating jobs for rural residents. Instead of producing managers, the goal should be to generate skilled workers.
China has made significant investments in Myanmar, and for the foreseeable future, bilateral trade will remain a key issue. Chinese interpreting or having working knowledge of the Chinese language is a challenging profession in Myanmar, but it can be more profitable if you combine it with fundamental degree programmes in economics, accounting or business studies awarded by Myanmar’s own Universities. University of Foreign Languages, Mandalay is doing commendable in this field.
Similarly, Myanmar Institute of Information Technology(MIIT), Mandalay, established by joint efforts of India & Myanmar is generating talented technical manpower. MIIT is an institute of repute and selection process is very fair based on merit only. Indian Council of Cultural Research (ICCR) scholarships and specialty courses under ITEC programmes are provided gratis by the Embassy of India in Myanmar and students are also awarded a subsistence allowance during course of study alongwith airfare. Moreover, India and Myanmar are culturally and religiously affiliated this increases adaptibility. IT experts from India are heading top IT companies like Microsoft and Google.
Contribution in the development of motherland generates feelings or impression that we are giving back to the society from which we hail. People in Myanmar have a fascination with international brands, whether it is for cosmetics, apparel, footwear or education, this needs to be discouraged. There needs to be a shift in the way that people should view their own nation as the best despite the odd prevalent situation. Myanmar is richest in natural resources in South Asia and every citizen should feel proud of it.
All Asians, with the exception of Chinese and Japanese, are fascinated by English and it is status symbol. One must learn from Chinese, Japanese, French, Germans, Russians and countless countries who have used their mother tongue as a strength and attained the pinnacle of growth.
The students opting for foreign degrees must do the homework and they should not forget that the US and European economies are struggling and that the post-Russia-Ukraine war global economic environment is shifting. Therefore, when considering admissions, one should be wary of the optimistic future scenarios presented by these for-profit educational institutions. Strong local currencies of developing economies like Indian Rupee or the Chinese Yuan may govern future markets as the dollar or euro loses its appeal.