The signing ceremony is the result of two years' intense preparatory work on both sides. "We are delighted to have brought this process to a successful conclusion and that we are among the first universities to enter into a cooperative partnership with the oldest and most distinguished university of Myanmar," said President Professor Burkhard Freitag, whose visit to Yangon in 2012 did much to facilitate the process.
The memorandum allows both universities to cooperate more closely, as it gives the University of Passau's academics more direct access to their colleagues in Myanmar. It also makes it easier to apply for third-party funding. "The University of Passau can now take an active role in helping to shape the development of the higher education and research sector in Myanmar, while at the same time pursuing joint research objectives," said Vice President Ursula Reutner.
The agreement places a strong emphasis on the capacity-building process in Myanmar, by providing for continuing education to the academics who teach and carry out research. The memorandum also calls for staff exchanges, particularly of doctoral researchers. The University of Yangon has indicated that it is particularly interested in cooperating in the fields of law, digital humanities, computer science, history and Southeast Asian studies.
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