Hakha attempts to get permit for private university
19 September 2013: Community leaders in Hakha, Chin State wrote a letter to President Thein Sein, asking permission to establish a private university in the Chin capital.
Three representatives of the Association of Hakha Community Leaders last week handed the letter over to the President’s Office as well as to other relevant ministers in Nay Pyi Taw.
It pointed out that all States and Regions across Burma except for Chin State, the least developed in the country, have colleges and universities.
So, Chin students who pass the matriculation exams are supposed to join colleges and universities in places including Kalay, Pakkoku, Monywa, Mandalay, Magwe and Rangoon.
Unfortunately, it stated, only about 30% of students can afford to pursue higher education while the remaining 70% are unable to continue due to high costs of studying outside of Chin State.
Chin leaders say that the fact that many young Chins cannot pursue higher education is alarming and one of the greatest challenges for the future development of the Chin people as a whole.
Based on the results of matriculation exams over the past five years, at least between 1,000 and 1,400 Chin students, according to the letter, are qualified to go to universities, of which only about 300 eventually manage to further their studies.
In the past, many attempts have been made to have at least one university built inside Chin State, but so far Burma’s successive governments have not taken proper action to address the issue.
The delegation also identified the lack of a university in Chin State as one of the main reasons that have triggered a huge migration of youths into foreign countries as well as to other parts of Burma.
One of the delegation members told Chinland Guardian: “We have met with the government of Chin State and we are suggested to go directly to the central government of Burma.”
They then proposed several long-term plans, one of which was to help young Chins from poor families continue their higher education at affordable costs by establishing such a university.
Within a period of five years from a December 2014 start, it, the leaders believed, would be able to offer at least 16 different courses, with about 150 students graduating each year.
Currently, Hakha has only one private Christian college and one government-run technological institute; the latter opened in December 2008 with only just more than 30 students in the first academic year.#