Ministry of Education
Department of Higher Education
(Lower Myanmar)

Myanmar Higher Education Policy

2. Higher Education Policy

The major changes in higher education took place with the enactment of the University Education Law of 1964. This was later repealed and the University Education Law of 1973 was enacted. According to the existing unitary system of

2.1 Administration Structure of Higher Education Sector

higher education, numerous university level institutions came into existence. In order to administer and coordinate the work of these institutions, there are now two Departments of Higher Education � one for Lower Myanmar and another for Upper Myanmar. These departments are the executive branches of the Ministry of Education with the responsibility for administration and coordination of higher education institutions under the Ministry of Education. Although higher education institutions come under the administration of different ministries, academic and administrative policy matters relating to higher education are managed by the two councils chaired by the Minister for Education. They are:
* the Universities’ Central Council, and * the Council of University Academic Bodies
The Universities’ Central Council is principally responsible for the framing of broad policy and co-ordination of the work of higher education institutions while the responsibility of the Council of University Academic Bodies lies in the adoption of academic regulations and co-ordination of academic work. There are 163 higher education institutions in Myanmar. 66 institutions, which form the majority, are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education while 97 institutions are under 11 other ministries and the Union of Civil Services Board (Table 1). All the higher education institutions are state-financed. The expenditure of education sector in 2011-2012 fiscal year will be doubled in 2012-2013 fiscal year. The number of higher education institutions under various ministries in 2011-2012 is shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Number of Higher Education Institutions under Various Ministries in 2011-2012

Sr. No Ministry Number
1 Education 66
2 Health 15
3 Science and Technology 61
4 Defence 5
5 Culture 2
6 Environmental Conservation and Forestry 1
7 Agriculture and Irrigation 1
8 Livestock Breeding & Fisheries 1
9 Co-operatives 5
10 Union Civil Service Board 1
11 Religious Affairs 1
12 Border Affairs 2
13 Transport 2
total 163

2.2National Education Committee

A national level coordinating decision-making body called the Myanmar Education Committee was established on 2 September, 1991. The committee facilitates the development of an education system, which is equitable with traditional, cultural and social values and also in keeping with the economic and political aspirations of the nation. This high-powered committee was reestablished as National Education Committee on 20 April, 2011. It is chaired by the Union Minister for Education, and deputy ministers of the ministries that administer education institutions are members of the committee.
The main functions of the committee are:
� to advise the union government in enacting educational laws which will support the perpetuation of the physical integrity of the Union, national solidarity and national sovereignty
� to coordinate in adopting educational policies in line with the social, economic and political system
� to give guidance in implementing programmes aiming at promoting the intellectual and technical advancement of the people of Myanmar
� to coordinate in reviewing and amending educational programmes
� to give guidance in cooperation with international development agencies and educational organizations for the implementation of programmes in the education sector
� to coordinate in implementing 30-year Long-term Education Development Plan and amending educational programmes if necessary
� to make policy in upgrading curricula and syllabi to be on a par with the international level Title 02
Fig. 1 Administrative Structure of Higher Education System Title 02
Fig. 2 Academic Structure of the Education System

2.3 Prioritized Tasks for Upgrading the Quality of Education

On March 30, 2011 at the first regular session of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the President of the State gave guidance to give special focus on the implementation of the following tasks for the upgrading the quality of national education:
1. to implement free compulsory primary education system
2. to increase the enrollment rate in basic education sector
3. to nurture new generation as intellectuals and intelligentsia in human resource development
4. to improve qualities of teachers in both basic and higher education sectors
5. to utilize teaching aids more effectively
6. to upgrade the quality and the socio-economic status of educational personnel
7. to provide scholarships, stipends and awards both locally and internationally
8. to promulgate relevant laws for the participation and contribution of private sectors in education services
9. to collaborate with local and international organizations including the UN, NGOs and INGOs
10. to upgrade education standard to international level