Loughborough University
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Reforming a university during political transformation: a case study of Yangon University in Myanmar

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-09-23, 12:50 authored by James Esson, K. Wang
Since 2010, Myanmar has been transitioning from an authoritarian military regime towards a parliamentary democracy. Several education policies have been launched as part of this political transformation process, including the reform of Myanmar’s flagship higher education institution, Yangon University. This article investigates the reform of Yangon University. Through so doing, we examine a key node in Myanmar’s higher education system, and contribute to academic debates over higher education reforms in countries undergoing political transformations. The article draws on qualitative data obtained from stakeholders involved in the reform of Yangon University, and uses Arnhold et al.’s ‘educational reconstruction framework’ to conceptualize the reform process. It is argued that while improvements have been made to the physical infrastructure, there has been a failure to consider the ideological and psychological reconstruction of the university, which staff and students alike deem essential to transforming long standing authoritarian practices, and creating a constructive learning environment.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Studies in Higher Education


ESSON, J. and WANG, K., 2016. Reforming a university during political transformation: a case study of Yangon University in Myanmar. Studies in Higher Education, 43 (7), pp.1184-1195.


© Society for Research into Higher Education. Published by Taylor & Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date


Publication date



This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Higher Education on 14 Oct 2016 , available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2016.1239250.






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