Myanmar higher education in transition: the interplay between state authority, student politics and international actors.

Proserpio, Licia (2022) Myanmar higher education in transition: the interplay between state authority, student politics and international actors., [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Storie, culture e politiche del globale, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10350.
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The Myanmar “period of transition” (2011-2021) has often been described as a puzzle. Various scholars have begun to engage with the Myanmar context in an effort to grasp the essence of the transition it underwent during President Thein Sein’s USPD and Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD governments. My work focuses on a specific policy sector, higher education, with a view to contributing to this scholarly debate regarding what was actually happening inside this complex country “transition”, especially in terms of collective participation in the process of political and social change. Reviewing existing scholarly literature on the politics of higher education, my study employs a triangle of analysis in which higher education reform is framed as the interplay of action on the part of “state authority”, “student politics” and “international actors”. What does this interplay lens reveal if we consider Myanmar’s “period of transition”? I argue that it shows the ambiguity and contradiction of tangible pushes for progressive social change that coexisted with authoritarian currents and the reinforcement of the societal position of dominant elites. At the policy level, ultimately, a convergence of interests between international actors and state authority served as the force driving the new higher education reform towards a neo-liberal model of governance and autonomy. This work unpacks the higher education reform process thanks to qualitative data gathered through extensive participant observation, in-depth interviewing and critical discourse analysis, shedding light on the rich narratives of those involved in the politics of higher education in Myanmar.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Proserpio, Licia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Myanmar, higher education, policy reform, student movements.
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2022

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