Burma - Country Commercial Guide
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There are approximately 853,000 higher education students in Burma. Some students from upper and middle-class families seek to study abroad.

As the demand for bachelor’s degrees with foreign accreditation is high, local education institutions often seek to collaborate with international universities and institutions to provide students with the opportunity to study foreign degrees locally at affordable tuition fees.  Many local professional training centers and institutions have entered the market.  Private training centers offer a variety of certificate and diploma courses in business management, finance, marketing, project management, information technology, teacher education, engineering, and accounting, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degree programs from their partner international universities.   

In addition, the outbound student mobility rate in Burma has increased significantly since 2021. More than 17,000 students from Burma studied abroad in 2022. Thailand and Japan are the primary international host countries for these students, with approximately 3,700 and 3,500 studying in academic year 2022, respectively. 

According to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2021 Report, 1,909 students from Burma were studying in the United States, a 71% increase over 2015 (1,067 students). Of the 1,909 students, 72% were enrolled in undergraduate programs, 13% in graduate programs, 1% in non-degree programs, and 12% in Optional Practical Training. Students from Burma were most likely to study business management, financial management, project management, hospitality, accounting, marketing, engineering, and information technology. The favorite destinations for students from Burma are California at 30% and New York at 13% (SEVIS Data, 2020).   

Some local education agents now provide preparatory educational services to students who want to study abroad or pursue international education. These education agents offer pre-collegiate programs to assist students in developing their academic abilities to secure admission and possible financial assistance at international institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Canada, and Singapore. They also assist with visa applications, prepare students for life in a Western college setting, and assist in career planning. 

Leading sub-sectors 

Community Colleges

The community college concept is gaining popularity in Burma as students and parents realize that the idea is an effective and economical route to transfer to high-ranked four-year universities. Burma ranks 19th among international students enrolled in community colleges in the United States in 2022, accounting for 1% of all international students (approximately 490 students). Local education agents play an essential role in promoting the community college concept in Burma. Many U.S. community colleges have partnered with regional study-abroad agents to recruit Burmese students. About 10 to 15 reputable education agents in Burma work with universities and colleges from various countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Korea, Japan, the U.K., the United States, and Canada. 

Four-Year Degree and Master Programs

Local education agents and counseling services have partnered with many U.S. universities to promote U.S. graduate and postgraduate programs to Burmese students.   


A growing number of people in Burma are realizing the importance of quality education, and parents are willing to invest in their children’s education to have good career opportunities after graduation. Local learning centers in Burma actively seek partnerships with U.S. higher education institutions for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. According to some learning centers, students from Burma prefer to have more options and anxiously wait for admittance opportunities and news from U.S. programs.  

Educational seminars given by universities from numerous countries offering scholarships are becoming common in Burma. While focused on attracting students from Burma, foreign universities can also explore new partnerships with U.S. institutions in Burma’s education sector.  

Local private companies are investing in the primary and secondary school segments to meet the growing demand in the market.  

Appoint a Local Representative 

Education service providers offering local representation play a critical role in the success of U.S. colleges and universities in Burma’s education market. Students and parents feel at ease seeking advice on issues such as the school admission process and guidelines from experts, advisors, and counselors based in the country who have a broader understanding of schools and policies. Numerous U.S. colleges and universities have appointed local education providers to promote their schools and recruit students from Burma. 

Exhibit at Education Fairs 

In 2020 and 2021, Burma held several virtual education fairs.  Fairs in Burma are an excellent opportunity for university recruiters to interact with prospective students. EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries. EducationUSA organizes annual education fairs each year worldwide. Further information about studying in the United States, and opportunities for U.S. institutions seeking to recruit students, is available on the EducationUSA website and from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department. 


Bureau of Consular Affairs Report & Statistics  

EducationUSA and https://educationusa.state.gov/us-higher-education-professionals

Open Doors International Education Exchange  

U.S. Embassy in Burma – Study in the U.S.A.

SEVIS 2020 Data Mapping Tool Data 

UIS Statistics 


Contact Information  

The U.S. Commercial Service