- Rangoon (Yangon) University
- Burma's oldest degreeconferring institution of higher education, formally established in 1920 by the British colonial government. The Rangoon University Act was controversial because the new institution had little autonomy and offered a curriculum along British lines that was designed to train a small number of élite civil servants. Instruction was in English rather than Burmese. In protest, a student strike was organized in November 1920. After 1935, when Ko Nu became president of the Rangoon University Students Union (RUSU), the scenic campus along the shores of Inya Lake and the area around the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, where students established strike centers, became sites of student activism that played a vital role in the struggle for independence. The pre-World War II university had four basic components: University College, Judson College (a Baptist missionary institution), the Teachers Training College, and the Medical College. There were also postgraduate courses in Law and Engineering. Ethnic minorities, especially Karens (Kayins), were well represented at Judson College (often nicknamed "Karen College"); most Burman (Bamar) students attended University College, which in the late 1930s had 800 male and 200 female students. According to Mi Mi Khaing, the women were happily idolized and fussed over by the exuberant male students. Apart from RUSU and political activism, the campus was kept lively by activities such as the Rangoon University Boat Club, which held regattas on Inya Lake, and frequent anyeint performances.Student freedoms were sharply curtailed after the July 7, 1962 Incident, when the military demolished the RUSU building. The Ne Win regime reorganized Burma's university system in 1964, and RU became the Rangoon Arts and Sciences University (RASU), offering courses in natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, while the medical, education, and economics faculties were split off to become separate institutions. RASU had affiliated colleges at Botataung, Hlaing, Kyimyindine, and Prome (Pyay), as well as a Workers College and the Yangon Cooperative Degree College, though these were reorganized and consolidated during the 1990s. In 1997-1998 its faculty numbered 945 and the student body 13,539.Following the massive demonstrations of Democracy Summer in 1988, the State Law and Order Restoration Council/State Peace and Development Council kept the campuses of RASU and other universities closed for much of the time until 2001, although student demonstration broke out at RASU in 1991 and 1996. The military regime has also built new universities, located far outside Rangoon's city center, to make it difficult for students and ordinary citizens to mingle. The future of Rangoon University is unclear.See also Dagon University; Rangoon Institute of Technology.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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