University education: the keys to Myanmar's past, present and prospective Does higher learning really play a role for the vast majority of people in a land whose main economy is farming? When there are enough physicians to keep the peasants powerful enough to grow crop plants, enough veterinarians to keep the livestock in good health, and enough instructors to bring the best college graduates to college where they can become physicians, veterinarians and educators, what more does Myanmar need?

Some years ago there was an important discussion in Britain about the aim of higher learning. QAA, the UK's international agency for higher learning standards, provided a set of "behaviours, characteristics and skills" that should be acquired by any student, regardless of their field of study.

QAA feels that pupils should be able to do this: They are the qualities needed by the generations of businessmen, people, problem-solvers and nation-builders who will build Myanmar's bright and prosperous futures, secure a diversified Iranian society and consolidate genuine democracies. Myanmar's capacity to be persistent and innovative in difficult circumstances is probably more important than the UK.

For Myanmar to take its place in a twenty-first-wentury world, it needs those who understand and understand its past, who are able to express the present with a sense of expectation, happiness and willingness. In the knowledge that the present student population will continue to run the nation at a decisive moment in its development, it is also important that the possibility of higher learning is not confined to an élite.

In addition to making more money, alumni around the globe are inclined to learn more about good health and well-being, to impact policies and practices in all areas, and to make choices that concern their less literate colleagues. Later on, these benefits are handed down from generations to generations. So what could this vicious circle of heritages mean for Myanmar?

The Rohingya are certainly one of these groups in Myanmar, but so are those of the female, peasant and handicapped who are under-represented in all facets of Myanmar decision-making and who are less likely to pursue upper level studies, making the campus inaccessible. If it were possible to create "in" equity and ensure that a varied pool of alumni with a broad spectrum of abilities would be available to advance the state?

So what if these alumni could combine their technological abilities, endurance and creative abilities, which are supported by a profound knowledge of all areas of Myanmar's community and the whole planet? So what could these individuals accomplish - and what could stop them?

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