Rangoon University

Rangoon University (RU)

The Beginning

Rangoon University Act took effect of December 1, 1920.

Rangoon University was established with Rangoon College and Judson College as the constituent Colleges.

Rangoon University had

  • Chancellor (Adipati),
  • Vice Chancellor
  • Pro Vice Chancellor
  • Rector
  • Registrar
  • Deans

The Prime Minister of the Union of Burma served as the Chancellor. He would attend the “Convocation” and give a speech. Later, some Ministers served as Chancellors.

The road leading to the Convocation Hall is named “Chancellor Road”.

A senior Professor (e.g. Dr. Htin Aung) served as a Vice Chancellor.

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Dr. Htin Aung

A senior Saya (e.g. Saya Htin Si) served as a Registrar.

RU had several Faculties :

  • Science
  • Arts
  • Social Science
  • Engineering
  • Medicine

Early State Scholars

Dr. Tha Hla, Dr. Maung Maung Kha, and Dr. Hla Myint were among the early scholars sent to UK to study for their doctorates. They later headed the Geology, Physics and Economics Departments.

U Ba Hli

Saya U Ba Hli was the first native Dean of Engineering. He studied in India and UK. Saya served as Principal and Civil Professor at GTI before he transferred to RU.

Saya U Ba Hli is credited with the “Twinning Program” with prestigious universities in the US. Beneficiaries of the program include engineering students (Dr. Aung Gyi, U Min Wun, U Maung Maung Than, U Aung Khin, U Khin Aung Kyi, U Thit, U Soe Paing, U Ko Ko Lay …), sayas (U Sein Hlaing, U Tin Swe, U Allen Htay, Dr. San Hla Aung, U Htin Paw, U San Tun, U Tin Hlaing … ), and eligible graduates (U Aw Taik Moh …).

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U Ba Hli

U Yone Mo

U Yone Mo studied Honors at RU and engineering in UK. At that time, membership and associate membership of the engineering societies were valued for non-academic positions and jobs.

After retirement from Burma Railways, he became Dean of BIT and later Rector of RIT.

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Requirement for Lectureship

A Masters Degree is usually needed to become a Lecturer.

Some sayas did a second round of studies to complete their Masters and get promoted to Lecturers.

Burmese Department

In the early days, there was a Pali Department, but no Burmese Department.

Saya U Pe Maung Tin (Pali) proposed and succeeded in the founding of the Burmese Department at RU. His students : ICS U Sein Tin (Theikpan Maung Wa), U Thein Han (Zawgyi) and U Wun (Minthuwun) spearheaded the “Khit San Sar Pay”. We had to study the works of all four in high school (and beyond).

Minthuwun’s poems and his classic short story (Bagyi Aung Nyar De) were translated into English by U Ohn Pe (Tet Toe), U Khin Zaw (“K) … and the collection was published in both Burmese and English.

U Pe Maung Tin, U E Maung, and U Wun, served as Professor of Burmese Department.

U Myo Min (Nwe Soe, Professor of English) was also involved in the Khit San Sar Pay.

Further Reading

Details of the early departments and pioneer says can be found in the RU Golden Jubilee Magazine, the 90th Anniversary Issues

Categories: Rangoon University

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