Ministry of Education
Department of Higher Education
(Lower Myanmar)

Panorama of Myanmar Higher Education

2. The Organization Structure and Management of the Education System

There are two main sub-sectors in the education sector – the basic education sub-sector and the higher education sub-sector.

2. 1 Higher Education Sub-Sector

There are 163 higher education institutions in Myanmar. Among them, 66 institutions are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education while 97 institutions are under 12 other ministries. All the higher education institutions are state-financed and they specialize in varied fields such as arts and science, law, economics and business education, teacher education, foreign languages, engineering, computer studies, maritime studies, defence, agriculture, forestry, medicine, nursing, veterinary science and culture and fine arts, etc. and offer a variety of programmes – undergraduate, postgraduate diploma, master’s degree programmes and doctorate programmes. Higher education institutions under the Ministry of Education have also established Centres for Human Resource Development that offer re-education and retraining human resource development programmes ranging from short-term certificate programmes to master’s degree programmes. There are two Departments of Higher Education – one for lower Myanmar and one for upper Myanmar. These two departments are responsible for administration and co-ordination of higher education institutions under the Ministry of Education. Although higher education institutions function 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. The Council of University Academic Bodies Meeting (1/2012) was held at Myanmar International Convention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw on 27 March, 2012 and the Universities’ Central Council Meeting on 28 March, 2012.
Table 1. Number of Higher Education Institutions under 13 Ministries in 2011-2012 AY

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

2.2 The National Education Committee

The Myanmar Education Committee, a national level coordinating decision-making body, was established on 2 September 1991. It was reformed as the National Education Committee on 20 April, 2011. This committee is chaired by the Union Minister for Education, and deputy ministers of the ministries that manage education institutions are members of the committee. The committee facilitates the development of an education system, which is equitable with the traditional, cultural and social values and which is also in keeping with the economic and political aspirations of the nation. The National Education Committee Meeting (1/2012) was held at the Ministry of Education in Nay Pyi Taw on 28 March, 2012.