Sunday, February 17, 2013
Private Universities to Set Up in Sri Lanka
The government has undertaken to set up non-state universities through the Board of Investment (BoI), leaving aside the Higher Education Ministry only to standardize such academic institutions, officials said yesterday.
Accordingly, ten foreign universities have sent their applications seeking approval to establish their campuses in Sri Lanka. They are mainly from the countries such as the United Kingdom and India.
The newly formed ‘Investment Promotion Ministry’ says in its website, “ the State university system performs as the main provider of the university systems, the establishment of private universities will be encouraging the government to attract around 50,000 foreign students to Sri Lanka through proposed private universities. These universities are also expected to absorb, on average the 12,000 Sri Lankan students leaving the country for higher education and thereby protecting foreign exchange savings and earnings.”
There are only 15 state university sector, six post graduate institutes and nine other degree awarding universities in the country now.
Asked for a comment, Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that the Ministry had already set up the ‘Standing Committee on Accreditation’ to regulate both state and non-state universities.
“We have taken this step under the Universities Act. We will issue necessary Gazette notifications soon,” he said.
Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake told journalists recently that there were already 19 properly functioning private degree awarding institutions in Sri Lanka.
“A student can follow a management degree at Rs.400,000/500,000, while an engineering course at around one million rupees. If we bring in more private universities, there will be price reductions due to competition,” he said.
Already, a 120-acre land has been released for the establishment of a branch campus of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), a US$ 100 million (Around Rs.12 billion) investment.
Extract From Online DailyMirror