Map highlighting Myanmar

Advancing environmental science in Myanmar via distance learning – Transformation by Innovation in Distance Education 

Prior to the February 2021 military coup, Myanmar was experiencing a significant deficit in the supply of skilled graduates to meet employment needs. With the country being highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, skills for sustainable management of Myanmar’s natural resources were a priority. 

The Transformation by Innovation in Distance Education (TIDE) partnership aimed to improve the quality of distance education in Myanmar and produce more employable graduates.

The approach

  • Enhancing the capacity of academic, teaching and support staff
  • Enhancing academic programmes with a particular focus on environmental science 
  • Working at policy level to strengthen the higher and distance education systems
  • Supporting the digital transformation of education in Myanmar at a national level 

With over 500,000 students accessing higher education through distance learning, reform of higher and distance education in Myanmar was a priority at the time when TIDE was designed.  

TIDE focused on enabling educators to deliver improved learning outcomes for students, with a particular subject focus on education for the environment and sustainable development. The project also supported the development and use of the growing information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure in Myanmar’s higher education sector through offering training on online education platforms and facilitating online courses designed to enhance digital literacy. An emphasis on the use of open educational resources (OERs) and associated open educational practices for teaching and learning was one of the most important aspects of TIDE.

* The TIDE project was closed early following the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021.  


  • All 40 Arts and Science universities and degree colleges in Myanmar participated in TIDE
  • More than 650 academic, teaching and support staff were trained directly, with an estimated 3,000 more reached through cascade training
  • 88% of trained academic staff reported applying approaches to support the development of 21st century skills for their students 
  • 12,400 students accessed online courses developed by TIDE and 95% of students surveyed said they had learnt new skills from these courses

The partners

The TIDE partnership is led by The Open University (UK), working with Yangon University (Myanmar), Yangon University of Distance Education (Myanmar), Yadanabon University (Myanmar), Irrawaddy Policy Exchange (UK), Oxford University (UK) and University of Manchester (UK).

Find out more

See also