Myanmar permits full foreign capital investments in education sector

The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has permitted foreigners to make full capital investments in private schools in Myanmar, according to Notification 7/2018 issued by the MIC on April 20.

This means foreigners will now be able to fully own and operate private schools teaching a curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) or an international curriculum.

International service providers will now be able to make investments in basic education schools, technical, vocational and training schools, higher education schools, subject-based schools and private schools designated by the MOE, according to the notification.

The move is good news for local students, who will now be able to choose from more international education options, Daw Khin Hnin Soe, principal and director of Myanmar Metropolitan College, said.

Even before the notification was released, foreign interest in the Myanmar education sector had been on the rise. Earlier this month, London-listed Myanmar Strategic Holdings (MSH) and Auston Institute of Management announced a joint venture to set up and operate a private school in Yangon.

The initial curriculum will include the Diploma in Engineering Technology, Diploma in Construction Project Management and Diploma in Networking, Information Systems and Security.

MSH also announced the planned opening of its third Wall Street English language centre in Yangon in August. It opened the first two centres last year and is targeting up to ten centres across Myanmar by 2027.

Daw Khin Hnin Soe said that a framework should be set up to maintain the quality of investors who enter into the sector. “The government should monitor foreign direct investments (FDI) into this sector and approve only the quality options,” she said.

U Min Khaung, founder of Amara Institute which teaches business management subjects, agreed. “If the government can actively monitor and approve only quality investments that expand students’ options and exposure, everyone will be better off,” he said.