The University of Mandalay, our Alma Mater, is pushing at the age of 68 now. The college was first opened in 1925 as an agricultural college, and soon as an affiliated college of Yangon University, it was closed down early in 1942 for, the Second World War had spread to the East.
It came to life again in 1947, with Sayagyi U Ko Lay (writer “Zeya Maung”) as Principal. Then Mr. John Moonie was Head of the English Department with U Ko Ko Gyi, Miss Rosair, Mr Noor, Daw Hla Shwe working with him. When Mr.Moonie went to Great Britain for a while, U Ko Ko Gyi was on officiating duty in his place till he returned from England. The staff changes were very rapid during the next ten years.
Daw Saw Hman soon joined the Department. And Miss Collen Rustom also worked in the English Department. Then a British Council Lecturer Mr. Harrison, followed by Mr Elwyn Owen, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Wilfrid Kirkpatrick: (a writer of novels), Professor Ivor Lewis and others, serving consecutively or sometimes concurrently, but none, except Mr. Moonie, permanently. Later, Mr. M.A. Hirjee and U Thein joined also; then, Mr and Mrs. Rasmaswamy from India, Daw Ahmar, Miss Salochina, Daw Khin Saw Mu. And a little later, Daw Khin Myint, Daw Khin Htwe, U Than Tin. After that Daw Winnie Murray, Dr. K. Forbes, Mr. D. Ram, U Min Han, U Tin Tun, Daw Khin May New, U Zaw Win, Daw May Thet Htun. Meanwhile, the University College had become a fullfledged University in 1958, and by 1959, it had produced its own products, 37 graduates in all, including 6 from the Agricultural College. Mr. David Weville (B.A. Hons, Cambridge) on contract, joined the Department.
In 1959, only the following were left in the English Department: Professor J. Moonie, Mr. M.A. Hirjee, Dr. K. Forbes, Daw Ahmar, Daw Khin Saw Mu, Daw Khin Myint, U Thein, Mr. Daya Ram, Daw Winnie Murray, U Min Than, Daw Khin Mae New, U Zaw Win, Daw May Thet Htun, and U Tin Tun. As Magway Intermediate College was under Mandalay University, Mr. and Mrs. Ramaswamy were posted to the English Department there. All the others metioned earlier had left the department after serving for very short periods.
In 1961, Daw Winnie Murray was posted to Taunggyi Intermediate College and U Min Han to Magway Intermediate College, each as Head of the English Department at the respective Colleges. Meanwhile, U Min Han had passed a competitive exam for further studies in the United Kingdom. Mr. Daya Ram was already in Australia for a diploma in Education, and, if possible, for the degree of M.Ed. U Min Han was already admitted to study at Leeds, to proceed for the degree of Ph.D, after a year’s study in the U.K. on a State scholarship.
In 1961, Prof. Moonie, Prof. I. Lewis, Mrs. Henderson, Mr. David Weville, Dr. Olney (Geogia University), Dr. Robert Howren Jr. (North Carolina), Mr. W. Kirkpatrick (B.A. M.Ed), Dr. K. Forbes, and Dr. Jay Daly (Columbia University) had conducted post-graduate studies (M.A (Q)/B.A. Hons) in English Language, Literature, & Linguistics) at the English Department, and U Min Han, Daw Winnie Murray, and Rosemarie Latt completed the course successfully.
In 1964, U Min Han and Daw Winnie Murray were back at Mandalay University and soon got their Master of Arts Degree. The Education system had changed and become centralized. The English Major system was discontinued in 1965, and only the remnant of the English Majors, without further intake, continued and completed the courses – B.A, B.A. Hons, M.A. The Major courses were conducted by Prof. J. Moonie , Dr.K. Forbes, U Min Han, Daw Winnie Murray, Mr. R, E. L. Pereira, and Daw Cho Cho Aye. The minor courses by the others; Mr. R. Biak Cin, Daw C. James, Daw Rosemarie Latt, Mr. D. Ram (when he returned from Australia), Daw Yin Yin May, U Shwe Hmu, Daw Myint Myint Thein, Daw Khin Thein Win and others who joined us as tutors later were Daw Mae Mae Sein, Daw Stella Poo Nyo, Daw C. Sein, Mr. A. Edwards. In 1967, Professor Monnie retired after producing B.A, and M.A. graduates. Up to 1970, English Department became a minor Departement.
After Professor Moonie’s retirement, Mr. Pereira was Head of Department in 1967. In 1969, U Ohn Khin from Yangon became Head: in 1975, Dr. K. Forbes; in 1983, U Min Han. Daw Hla Mae (Mrs. Ohn Khin) returned to Yangon after U Ohn Khin’s demise in 1975.
English as a specialization subject was resumed in 1980. Daw Khin Hla Hla, and Daw Hnin Yi were with us for sometime as Assistant Lecturers.
The Regional College of Mandalay started in 1975 and became Yadanabomi Campus of Mandalay University. Dr. K. Forbes, U Min Han, Daw Winnie Murray, U Abel Edwards, Daw Hin Yi, Daw Khin Hla Hla – three Lecturers, and there Asst. Lecturers – conducted the specialization classes at Mandalay University, and Mr. Vardon (A.L), and Daw Naomi and Daw San San Lay (tutors), the 1st and 2nd year classes at Yadanabomi Campus. Later, U Shwe Hmu and Daw Yin Yin May (tutours)took the prose and language classes. Soon U Aung Than and Daw Khin Thant Han came from Yangon while U Min Han was Head of the Department of English.
In February 1986, U Min Han led a group of 3 Lecturers and two Als on a study tour to the U.K. They were based at the University of Birmingham (U.S) English Language Research Unit. Daw Winnie Murray was on officiating duty till U Min Han returned to Mandalay Univeristy in September 1986. In 1984 U Min Han drew a 5-year plan for further studies and study tours abroad. A Language Laboratory Plan was also drawn. Lecturer Daw C.Sein U joined the department, also Lecturer U Tinn Latt Way, U Aung Than and Daw Khin Thant Han were promoted Lecturers. In February 1987, a lecture form Manchester Mr. Gerry Abott was attached to the English Department, In early January, 1989, Professor U Min Han retired at age sixty. Before his retirement, local products of the English Department were selected and appointed, numbering over a hundred. Daw Winnie Murray served at Mandalay University as Professor and Head of English Department from 1989 to 2001. After Daw Winnie Murray, U Zaw Tun became Professor and Head of English Department. In 2005, Daw Ni Ni Hlaing took the duty of Professor and Head of English Department till at the end of 2014.
The English Department was moved from the Academy Building to the four-storey building which was once used as Mandalay University of Foreign Languages in December, 2014. The present Professor and Head of English Department is Dr. Thanda Soe. There are 20 teaching staff in English Department – one Professor (Head), 14 Lecturers, and 5 tutors . There are also two part-time Professors – Dr. Maung Maun g Oo and Daw Nyunt Swe and one visiting Professor named Dr. Amy Roberts, Laramie City, University of Wyoming, English Language Fellow Program, U.S.A.
To provide quality English language instruction to all individuals who have chosen English as their medium of communication for academic or professional pursuits and to promote international and intercultural understanding.
To become one of the leading institutions in Upper Myanmar by setting standards of excellence in innovative curriculum design, teaching, professional development, and cross-cultural understanding.
- Diploma in English Language Teaching Programme