Myramar CountryThe Myramar Land
University under pressure to cap Myanmar because of Rohingya crises
With the Rohingya Muslims under growing political and institutional pressures around the globe, Myanmar is under growing tension to disrupt its relations with them. This approach has prompted the issue of whether or not the higher education establishments should pursue their partnership in the state. Oxford University is one of the most closely associated institutes in Myanmar.
University of Yangon officials went to Oxford in 2014 to talk about strategy development, mentoring, curricula and research, while Oxford scientists worked with research in Burma. Meanwhile, last year, Sydney University of Technology signed a new alliance with Yangon Technological University to promote cooperation in technology and IT innovations and programs, and Ball State University in the United States has signed an arrangement to award grants to Thanlyin Technical University undergraduates.
The UK Open University is in the process of negotiation for a 4.6 million pound subsidy from the UK authorities to work with Oxford and the University of Manchester to support higher educational opportunities through remote teaching in Myanmar. Commenting on the decision, Ms Green, Senior Vice President of the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London, said the university should "boycott all state agencies in Myanmar", which includes the university.
However, an Open Univeristy spokesperson said the institute was "sensitive to what is happening in the state of Rakhine and the balance of Myanmar's humanitarian record" and would not allocate any funds to the war. "We believe there is no more powerful remedy for repression wherever it may appear than an informed population," he said, and added that the campus "is proactively exploring the possibilities of expanding this to include those who have been compelled to escape from Myanmar".
There are also others who are agreed that there is a unique position for higher learning institutions to contain the economic downturn. There would be no effect on the conduct of Myanmar's authorities," said Lee Jones, a Queen Mary readership in policy. The first Aung San Suu Kyi gender research fellowship at Oxford and the first high-ranking Myanmar scientist at the institute, Khin Mar Mar Mar Kyi, said Myanmar's educational system was "destroyed by the military" and is only just beginning to "open".
The proposal that Myanmar's schools should "detach themselves" from Myanmar is "obviously absurd", added Kelly Smith, deputy director of the Australia Myanmar Institute at La Trobe University in Melbourne. "He proposes a kind of collectively punishing institution in a land that could be able to affect the course of law and order through the principals of academia, which we value and so strongly defend," he said.
Tami Wells, a research associate at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, who was a student of Myanmar's opposing movement, added that Myanmar's campuses "probably have relatively few links with members of the country's militarist elite".