Non-profit Higher Education Institutions in Chin State: From Survival to Sustainability

Nitha Bor Siangpum explores the sustainability of non-profit higher education in Chin State.

Myanmar’s higher education (HE) sector is stunted in almost every respect, due to prolonged underinvestment and over-centralization. Research has shown that the sector is ‘poor by any standard’ and is facing enormous challenges. For one, the state’s provision of HE is inadequate. Only 11% of Myanmar’s youth, which refers to a small number of middle-class students, have access to state-run higher education. Thus, the private sector, which includes both for-profit and non-profit institutions, has become an important HE provider in Myanmar. Despite this, private education provision, particularly of the non-profit sector, is largely overlooked by studies conducted on Myanmar’s education. Non-profit private higher education institutions (HEIs) deserve more research attention because they not only patch up the state’s weaknesses in educational provision, but they also make HE accessible and affordable in the country’s peripheries.

Therefore, in a study conducted under a research fellowship program, from which this Tea Circle article is adapted, I discussed what it would take to sustain non-profits’ provision of higher education in Chin State, one of Myanmar’s most remote areas. The study was motivated by my volunteering experience as a teacher at the Chin Christian University, a non-profit private university in Hakha, Chin State. The study focused on how these HEIs can best use the readily available resources rather than acquiring more.

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