Article Title

Parami Faculty Published in Higher Education in Southeast Asia and Beyond Newsletter

Dr. Mark Brown, a member of the social sciences faculty at Parami University, recently wrote an article on the impact of COVID-19 and the political turmoil on higher education in Myanmar. The article was published in the HEAD Foundation’s Higher Education in Southeast Asia and Beyond (HESB) newsletter issued in February 2022. 

“I was invited to write the article, with the focus being primarily on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education in Myanmar. But, as you know, COVID and the coup coincided, so one couldn't really be considered without the other.” 

HESB Newsletter Cover (The HEAD Foundation)

COVID was a problem, but one that could be managed and resolved in a relatively short period of time. The coup, on the other hand, poses a much deeper problem for higher education, which can't be directly managed by the civilian government and will take a much longer period of time to resolve. Hence the conundrum, he explained. 

In the article, he discussed three main topics―higher education after the National Education Strategic Plan, the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan, and Reforms after COVID - Coup. 

"My main objective for the publication was to briefly illustrate the two main challenges facing higher education in Myanmar at the moment, and by doing that to keep Myanmar in focus for public discussion.”⸺ Mark Brown.  

He continued that unfortunately, international news cycles are very short these days, and with global events occurring at a dizzying speed, news of large-scale violence and injustice can quickly drift from the public focus. “A small article is the least I could do to try and keep the issue in focus. By continuing the conversation and keeping the issue in our view, we can talk about changes that might be put into action. Together we can, one step at a time, create the future we want.” 

His professional passion is implementing community development projects, specifically on issues related to education, social inclusion, and sustainable livelihoods.

Another publication on higher education that Dr. Brown co-authored with Parami's former research officer Ngai Hung will be released in the International Handbook on Education in Southeast Asia edited by Lorraine Pe Symaco and Martin Hayden and published by Springer. The chapter provides an overview and assessment of higher education in Myanmar in the 2011-2021 period. 

“I'm also writing a separate chapter on higher education in Myanmar for another anthology, which focuses on the role of student protests in the past century of public uprisings in Myanmar, and the way in which Myanmar's universities have been a vibrant and important part of the public sphere for communicative action. The two chapters are designed to complement each other by looking at different dimensions of the higher education sector in Myanmar,” said Mark. 

Mark is currently a member of the social sciences faculty at Parami University and teaches a suite of courses in international and community development. He spent many years in Lashio, Shan State, where he established a school for rural youth. The school now operates as a social enterprise and is proudly owned and managed by local staff. 

Read the article on the impact of COVID-19 and the political turmoil on higher education in Myanmar.

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