Partnership to help Myanmar rebuild

10 October 2014

Twelve Myanmar academics have graduated from a two-week course that will enable them to contribute to the rebuilding of their country.

Course graduate University of Yangon (UY) Professor Nilar Aung says Myanmar hasn’t held a census since 1993 and the skills learned at ANU will be invaluable in building the Myanmar people’s future.

“We need to learn about the population of our country, how many people are children, how many are of working age, how many are elderly. This will allow us to plan for our future,” she said.

Myanmar held a general election in 2010 following nearly 50 years of military rule, and is ranked 150th in the UN’s Human Development Index.

The course is part of a three-year partnership program between the UY and ANU aimed at restoring UY to its former standing as a centre of academic excellence in Southeast Asia.

ANU was chosen to partner with UY from hundreds of international academic institutions vying for the role, including the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore.

Researchers from a broad range of research areas met with a delegation from the UY this week, which included vice-chancellor counterpart, Rector Dr Aung Thu, and Pro Rector Dr Aung Kyaw.

Project Manager Associate Professor Helen James from the ANU College of Asia Pacific said she looked forward to seeing the academic partnership develop.

“We’re looking at key areas that will be of help to the country, so UY will become a base for excellence in advising government on public policy.

“There’s a good deal of research capacity at Yangon, particularly on things like plant compounds that might lead to new medicines and vaccinations,” she said.