The Department of Geography is one of the oldest departments in the University of Yangon. Although it was planned at the University’s foundation in 1920, teaching of geography in the University of Yangon only started in 1924 with Professor Dr. L.D. Stamp. The courses at that time were based on the curriculum of London University. Professor L. D. Stamp, together with his wife, Mrs. L. C. Stamp and Mr. F. G. French, also prepared geography text books for schools. Since then, many foreign scholars have been employed in the department. Myanmar scholars started to serve as tutors in the department in 1934.
During the Second World War, U Phe Maung Tin became the first Myanmar Rector of the University of Yangon. Daw Thin Kyi was assistant lecturer at the Department of Geography in 1943. After national independence, in 1950, Daw Thin Kyi returned from Clark University with a doctorate degree and served as lecturer and head of the department. In June 1951, she became professor and head of the Department of Geography. The number of teaching staff gradually increased.
Courses at that time included physical geography, climatology, economic geography, regional geography and practical geography. Later, geomorphology and human geography were introduced. Historical geography and political geography were taught as an Honours class. Later, new fields in geography, such as the geography of Myanmar, urban geography, land use, soils and biogeography were gradually added. As the education system changed, the courses in geography also changed accordingly.
With the changing technology, new modern subjects were introduced in the late 1990s. In addition, as a part of the interdisciplinary knowledge development programme, geography is a part of other courses such as Myanmar Studies, Environmental Studies, Anthropology and International Relations.
The PhD programme in geography started in the academic year 1995-1996. A total of 112 doctorate students finished their dissertations during the period 1996 to 2016. Currently, there are 21 candidates working for their PhD degree.
A post-graduate Diploma in GIS was introduced in 1999 as part of the human resource development programme of the University of Yangon. Since then, more than 500 diploma degree holders have completed the diploma course and are now working in different ministries and in the private sector. The Diamond Jubilee celebration of the Department of Geography was held in 1999.
- To disseminate geographic knowledge to the wider public
- To effectively assist national development with geographic knowledge
- To enhance collaboration in research and teaching with international universities and organizations
- To enhance the academic atmosphere and culture in the University of Yangon and to extend it to other universities of Myanmar
- To gain, disseminate and apply scientific knowledge in the field of urban and regional development in Myanmar
- To support region-based development processes and to deepen the opportunities which emerge from local natural and human resources in growing connection with international economic opportunities
- To encourage and support high level research that enhances understanding of the different phenomena and processes in the States and Regions of Myanmar
- To contribute to improving the quality of education, training and capacity enhancement
The Centre of Excellence for Urban and Regional Development (CoE) aims to develop modern teaching qualifications with research-oriented teaching at all levels of education. Inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration, with international research partners too, shall be extended. Knowledge, expertise and qualifications shall be made available for all universities in Myanmar and for civil society.
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