Parents wary of new varsity entrance regime
PARENTS and students are worried that a huge number of students will vie to study at the 11 universities where a new entrance system will be introduced.
Over 250,000 students passed the matriculation examination this year, but the Department of Higher Education will introduce the new entrance system at only 11 top universities in Yangon and Mandalay regions.
“Most parents and students will apply to the universities with the new entrance system, which will make it difficult for students and parents,” said Ma Nwe Nwe Aung, a guardian in Shwe Phyi Thar township.
Under the new system, university boards will select students for admission to study at their institutions. The universities’ enrollment and entrance rules will soon be announced, and will depend on the categories of the universities, the department said.
“The new system is good news for us. I want my daughter to attend Yangon University,” said Daw Win Mar of Mingalardon township.
The 11 universities will begin accepting applications using the new entrance system on Friday, including six universities in Yangon and five in Mandalay, that offer technology, computer, language, and art and science courses.
Applications must be submitted by the students or their parents. Filing applications through email is not allowed, according to U Kyi Shwin, rector of the Yangon University of Foreign Languages.
“I don’t think we will get many applications,” he said. “We expect only about 5000, as (accepting) too many is not possible,” he said.
He said his staff would be busier due to the change in the application process but that they can manage the change as “it is not too difficult.”
Parents expressed hope that under the new system the universities would not confine their selection to the scores the students got on the matriculation exam.
“I welcome a system that does not depend on exam scores for university enrollment, so students can choose what they desire. Some choose a major subject they are not interested in because their parents force them based on their scores,” said U Aung Moe, a parent in Botahtaung township.
In previous years, the department controlled the enrollment of universities based on matriculation exam grades, and the enrollments of universities depended on those scores.
U Aung Aung Min, deputy director general of the department, said, “Students who are denied admission under the new system can join other universities like previously.”
“The new system will call their applications earlier,” he said.
Applications under ordinary enrollment will start on June 25.
There are over 170 universities, colleges and degree colleges, of which 133 are under the Ministry of Education.
In 2014, the ministry said it would give autonomy to the universities, and the new entrance system is part of this process.
The department wants all universities to change to the new system but most of the institutions are not ready yet, said U Aung Aung Min.
“I hope other universities will adopt the new entrance system in the next academic year after they learn from the experience of the 11 initial universities,” he added.
The current National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government has been implementing various programmes in a bid to improve the country’s education system, which deteriorated due to decades of military rule.
In the early years after gaining independence from Britain on January 4, 1948, Myanmar had a very extensive network of missionary schools that employed highly qualified foreign teachers that teaches students all key subjects, making them among the most highly educated in the region.