Update : October 20, 2021
- In the early days, several Burmese State Scholars studied in UK and USA.
- Dr. Hla Myint, Dr. Tha Hla and Dr. Maung Maung Kha received their doctorates in
Economics, Geology and Meteorological Physics from UK.
They served as Professors and later as Rectors at Rangoon University.
- Dr. Daw Thin Kyi was early female doctorate from US.
She retired as Professor of Geography Department.
- In the 1950s, undergraduate and graduate students were sent to USA under the “Twinning Program” between RU and prestigious universities in the USA.
Saya U Ba Hli, first native Dean of Engineering, is credited for the proposal.
- Dr. Aung Gyi, U Min Wun and U Maung Maung Than formed the first batch of Engineering students to be sent as State Scholars in the US.
After completing their BS and MS, they joined the Faculty of Engineering.
They retired as Professors and/or Rectors.
- U Sein Hlaing and U Tin Swe were among the Engineering sayas to be sent as State Scholars in the US.
- In 1954, there were 400+ Burmese State Scholars in the US.
Dr. Yan Naing Lwin (Emeritus Professor of Western Illinois University) had a list.
- In the 1960s (especially during the BSPP regime), most Burmese state scholars were selected to study in socialist and communist countries.
- One day, a group of state scholars (who had been chosen to do their Diplom and Candidate of Science) were surprised and delighted to learn that they will have to do their Masters and Doctorates in the UK.
- What happened?
Had their luck changed unexpectedly?
- Grapevine says that four Burmese state scholars in Dresden, German Democratic Republic (GDR) formed an association and led protests in front of the Burmese Embassy claiming that the “Burmese Way to Socialism” is weak.
- The student leaders were routed back to Burma via Moscow, USSR.
- The higher authorities decided to send less scholars to the socialist and communist countries to prevent or minimize hard-core cadres.
Saya U Thein Tan (C74, Retired Rector of MTU) added :
U Hla Min, it is not only cause for diverting state scholars to UK and Canada. We engineers and Physics graduates and forestry graduates are chosen to study in USSR. We had our passport in hand and applied for visa . Then there were no reply for about a month. They gave back our passports. Later on I learnt that our government had denounced the invasion of Czechoslovak by Warsaw group is illegal. After some time we and Physics graduates are sent to UK. Forestry graduates are sent to Canada instead of USSR.
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