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More than 100,000 students deprived of higher education annually

2013 Jul 02

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Due to limited facilities in Sri Lankan state-run universities, annually more than 100,000 students were deprived an opportunity to have a higher education, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said.

The government could accommodate only 25,000 students in the existing universities, but 140,000 students qualified for university entry every year, the Minister added. "As a responsible government, we cannot ignore their plight," Dissanayake said, stressing that the higher education facilities in the country had to be expanded.

Only a small number of GCE A/L qualifiers entered vocational training institutes, Dissanayake said.

The government could not meet the demand for higher education on its own, he said. "That’s why the University Grants Commission (UGC) has granted degree awarding status to some private universities in Sri Lanka."

Minister Dissanayake said that the UGC had given degree awarding status to certain institutions after examining the quality of their programmes and facilities available. "The government’s aim is to make Sri Lanka the education hub of Asia and it could not succeed in the endeavor without the support of the private sector participation."

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