An enduring relationship between Australia and Myanmar has been renewed with the re-signing of a MOU.
The country of Myanmar is a land of contrasts: scattered with gilded pagodas and ancient stupas, much of the population in its rural areas maintain enduring traditional practices. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s vibrant and future-focused cities are undergoing rapid economic and social changes. UNSW has a successful history of working with Myanmar institutions, but none as enduring as the partnership with Yangon Technological University (YTU), which is now in its seventh year.
Since 2013, UNSW has visited YTU on many occasions, both to assist education projects and to support YTU’s accreditation process. UNSW is proud to have Khaing Khaing Aye, a YTU staff member, working at UNSW, undertaking her PhD in Material Science. In addition, the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan awards saw the first UNSW undergraduate visit to YTU in 2018, with more planned in 2019. Earlier this year, UNSW academics and the Institute for Global Development (IGD) team visited YTU to discuss future opportunities for collaboration. The relationship between UNSW and YTU has been a mutually enriching one to date.
Following the success of these previous projects, there was a lot of excitement around the YTU delegates’ visit to UNSW last month. On Wednesday, 29 May, The Rector, Professor Myint Thein, and Head of International Affairs, Associate Professor Myo Myint Han, met with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs; Fiona Docherty, Vice President, External Relations; Professor Mark Hoffman, Dean of Engineering; Sarah Cook, Director of the Institute for Global Development; and a selection of other UNSW staff to re-sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
As part of their visit, Myint Thein and Myo Myint Han participated in a roundtable discussion on international partnerships between tertiary education institutions, drawing on the experience between UNSW and YTU. They also visited the Water Research Laboratory in Manly Vale and attended one-on-one meetings with UNSW Engineering staff to discuss further collaboration following the MOU renewal.
Looking ahead, the immediate priorities are around supporting YTU to develop their upcoming postgraduate diploma in Telecommunications and in Civil Engineering. YTU and UNSW also intend to collaborate on both education and action research, with a focus on water treatment, renewable energy, petroleum engineering, urban planning, food technologies, education and student and staff exchanges.
We can anticipate some exciting and busy years ahead, with fantastic opportunities for both students and staff to get involved in some of these diverse and challenging projects.