Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was one of 10 universities selected to participate in the Institute for International Education’s (IIE) International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) in Myanmar. The IAPP Myanmar program assists U.S. colleges and universities to develop a strategy for building sustainable partnerships with their counterparts in Myanmar, and to utilize those linkages to build capacity at Myanmar higher education institutions.
In 2012, Rutgers established a Myanmar Faculty Interest Group to explore current linkages and determine ways to formalize relationships with higher education institutions. Rutgers faculty are interested in developing partnerships that include faculty and student exchange, research collaboration, seminars, workshops, and conferences. Rutgers has several faculty members engaged in research in the country on topics such as a comparative history of colonial families in Myanmar, the sociocultural histories of Buddhism in Myanmar, and environmental risk assessment.
In February 2013, Rutgers took part in an Institute for International Education higher education delegation to Myanmar – the largest delegation of U.S. universities to travel to the county – to explore potential partnership opportunities. Members of the delegation delivered lectures and met with faculty and staff at nine universities, including University of Yangon and University of Mandalay, among others. Rutgers announced several initiatives in support of further collaborations with the institutions of higher learning in Myanmar, including:
- Committing to forming a consortium to provide assistance to university libraries in Myanmar. Rutgers will work with Northern Illinois University, University of Washington, and Arizona State University among others in creating the consortium
- Hosting Myanmar librarians for up to a month to further develop academic libraries in the country; and
- Supporting a short-term visit by a humanities professor from a local Myanmar university. Rutgers will also financially support its faculty members, especially from its faculties of health, pharmacy, and environmental sciences, to make short-term visits to give lectures at local Myanmar universities.
Engaging in international multi-institutional networks such as this allows the university to explore new avenues of collaboration with Myanmar higher education institutions. If you wish to become involved with our efforts in the country, please contact Chie Ikeya, Department of History, at firstname.lastname@example.org.