Building tourism education capacity in Myanmar Associate Professor Rosemary Black has recently arrived in Myanmar to work at the National Management Degree College, a public university in Yangon. Rosemary is there as a Visiting Pro Bono Professor and her work involves mentoring and coaching faculty members on subject knowledge and teaching methods and assessment, assisting with teaching tourism modules, conducting basic research and contributing to quality management by supporting development of university leadership.
The College offers a four-year BA degree in Tourism awarded by Yangon University and is one of only two institutions in the country to offer a tourism degree programme. “This is a unique opportunity for me to have a positive impact on the development and capacity building of tourism educators and students in Myanmar,” Rosy says. “I have over 20 years’ experience in the tertiary sector that I can contribute to the tourism programme.”
Her position is one of a number of strategies to building tourism and hospitality human resources capacity in the country that is being supported by the Luxembourg government and implemented by LuxDev. “I am teaching subjects in Sustainable Tourism, an area I am passionate about, as well as English for Hospitality to the first year students.
“ The students and staff are so keen to learn, it’s very rewarding. I am organising a sustainable tourism field trip, as well as a tourism career fair and an exhibition of student posters. All these activities are new initiatives for the College and I hope they will continue into the future. I am also establishing an Industry Advisory Group for the tourism program that will be an important interface between the College and relevant areas of industry, commerce/trade?, education, government, the professions and the overall community. It can advise the College on the scope and nature of its tourism programme, research and other activities – again an initiative that will have a long lasting impact”.
In increasing tourism, there is a need to strengthen tourism and hospitality related human resources capacity and facilitate the responsible development of Myanmar’s livelihoods throughout the country. The overall MYA/001 project aims to build up and strengthen existing institutional structures and support the further development of programmes that operate within them rather than seek to establish new frameworks for the delivery of human resources development.
The focus of the programme is on outcomes that strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders – government, educational providers and the private sector to sustain reforms beyond the short-term cycle of support from international donor partners. “Currently, the tourism programmes in the formal education sector in Myanmar are at an embryonic stage of development and lack industry relevance, experienced teaching staff and learning resources,” Rosy says. “Inputs such as the Visiting Professor Scheme are needed to support the formulation and delivery of programmes designed to enable employees to enter the tourism workforce and be received by employers confident in their skills and educational attainment.”
One of the main interventions of the project is the support for the development of the BA in Tourism and Hospitality programmes in Yangon and Mandalay. The first higher-level education programmes for tourism in Myanmar started in 2012 at the National Management Degree College in Yangon and at Mandalar Degree College in Mandalay. “These programmes are breaking new ground in tourism higher education in Myanmar,” Rosy says. “However, there is a need to develop appropriate and relevant curriculum and assessment strategies, increase engagement with and from tourism industry stakeholders in the private sector in Myanmar, support and develop teachers qualified in tourism-related disciplines with professional experience in the industry, and provide appropriate and current teaching and learning resources.”↑ To the top