Letters from HUAP

Toward the Further Development of Asia’s Final Frontier

Dr. Pho Kaung, Rector of the University of Yangon, and Dr. Kyaw Naing, Pro-Rector of the Yangon University of Distance Education, are active as Hokkaido University Ambassadors in Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar, which is under a remarkable construction boom and phenomenal development.

Dr. Pho Kaung

Profile Photo of Dr. Pho KaungReceived a PhD in Science [Physics] at Hokkaido University in 1995

I am honored to have been se- lected as a Hokkaido University Ambassador. The University of Yangon is my first alma mater, while Hokkaido University is my second. During my four years at Hokkaido University, I would walk along Poplar Avenue with my friends and sit on the grass near the brook reading books. I would also bury myself in my studies late into the night and assist lectures as a TA. Although I found myself under a tremendous amount of pressure carrying out my research, I was able to achieve satisfying results. I deepened my scholarly interests and acquired knowledge that can be used to contribute to society. This is the most important thing I learned at Hokkaido University.

I now serve as Rector at the University of Yangon, one of the foremost educational institutions in Southeast Asia. Its campus is architecturally important and attracts attention from not only within Myanmar but also elsewhere as a microcosm of unique plants and animals. Fifty years of virtual national isolation battered the University of Yangon, but graduates, university leaders and the national government are uniting to revitalize the university and reclaim its past glory.

The University of Yangon has already participated in research collaborations with Hokkaido University, for example with Hokkaido University’s Space Mission Center on the Asian Micro-satellite Consortium(AMC). Faculty members of the University of Yangon have also participated in symposiums held by Hokkaido University. Academic exchanges like these have started, and going forward we will strive to deepen the relationship between our universities and relay the results to our local residents and the entire nation. These and other efforts as Hokkaido University Ambassadors will be recognized accordingly in the future.

Dr. Kyaw Naing

Received a PhD in Science [Chemistry] at Hokkaido University in 1995

Hokkaido University is my sec- ond home as a scholar. It is a great honor to have been selected as a Hokkaido University Ambassador. I spent four years at Hokkaido University, including my days of intensive language study at the International Student Center (today’s Center for International Education and Research). While studying the language, I also learned Japanese customs and traditions. I am committed to using the experiences and knowledge I acquired at Hokkaido University for the development of my university in Myanmar.

With the aim of building a Myanmar Hokkaido University alumni network, I have begun making a list of Hokkaido University alumni residing in Myanmar. Based on this list, I plan to invite all alumni to attend a meeting where I would like to study how we can raise awareness of Hokkaido University in Myanmar through activities such as creating brochures. I plan to provide a brief lecture on Hokkaido University to students and faculty members at Yangon University of Distance Education to increase interest in studying at Hokkaido University. Together with Rector Pho of the University of Yangon, I also plan to hold a large-scale event for students and faculty members in the city.

There is also a plan under way to support and facilitate exchanges with Hokkaido University researchers and students who visit Myanmar for research. We will consider providing opportunities for Hokkaido University students to talk with local students and chances for Hokkaido University researchers to attend seminars and group discussions in their research fields with researchers in Myanmar.

( Litterae Populi [English Version] Spring 2017 )

Left: Dr. Pho Kaung on the University of Yangon campus, Right up: The main gate of Yangon University of Distance Education, Right down: Dr. Kyaw Naing and Associate Professor Masayuki Takahashi of the Faculty of Science

Group photo at the Hokkaido University Ambassador appointment ceremony at the University of Yangon (2016)

Photos from when the two HU Ambassadors studied at Hokkaido University