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CFP: SHAPING HIGHER EDUCATION IN A TRANSITIONING MYANMAR
January 29, 2021
Conference Dates: 29 March 2021 – 30 March 2021
In the last few years, Myanmar has undergone a profound political metamorphosis that has gradually paved the way for the formulation of major socioeconomic reforms affecting a wide range of sectors. Both nationally and internationally, the reform of Myanmar’s National Education System has undoubtedly been regarded as one of the core reorganizations needed to sustain the country’s political transition and peace process. Accompanied by high expectations, this reform has unfolded in the following three steps: the launch of the “Comprehensive Education Sector Review” (CESR) in 2012; the approval of the “National Education Law” (NEL) in 2014 and its amendment in 2015; and the introduction of a five-year “National Education Strategic Plan – 2016/2021” (NESP). With specific regards to the Higher Education (HE), the reform encompasses multiple key strategic points: HE institutional autonomy, improving overall teaching and research quality, ensuring access to students from diverse social and economic backgrounds, and enhancing international partnerships to allow international universities and donors to make their way into the educational sector after decades of isolation.
This ongoing reform process unquestionably represents a policy window for change in a sector thrust into disarray by decades of military rule. At the same time, deep critical discussion is required to assess how these policies have been translated in everyday practice and how their impacts are actually transforming university life and practices in Myanmar. By keeping Universities at the core of the discussion, the conference focuses on the ways that the state, civil society actors (including student movements and ethnic minority organizations) and other forces such as international actors are re-shaping and/or contesting HE in Myanmar. Papers may address one or more of the following areas of particular interest: University governance and management in times of transition; the reform’s impact on university teaching staff; student engagement in the reform process; the transformation of teachers’ and students’ unions; global neoliberal trends “incorporated” or contested in Myanmar HE; gender issues in Myanmar academia; the impact of international partnerships or international development project on the reform process; and ethnic education and the peace process.
Deadline for abstracts: 29 January 2021
Deadline for full papers: 19 March 2021