Public university system undergoes strategic modernisation
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka’s public university system is to undergo a strategic modernisation process overhauling the entire system which is on the verge of collapsing due to brain drain.
The National Strategic Plan prepared by University of Sri Jayewardenepura to modernise the entire public university system gas been unveiled with far reaching suggestions to improve the system.
The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Education to appoint a task force within two weeks and give a report in this regard, in the background where the university system in this country is at risk of collapsing.
Senior Professor Disa Bandara pointed out that since each university has its own unique circumstances, it is possible to work according to this draft by paying attention to all those university issues.
The COPE Chairman Prof Ranjith Bandara pointed out that small groups of students should not be allowed to bring down the entire universal system.
Moreover, the COPE Chairman said that the University Grants Commission also has a responsibility to maintain the quality of the universities.
He noted that about 50% of the universities in this country should become research universities.
Several new universities including in Kurunegala and Batticaloa will be opened soon and private institutions such as NIBM and SLIIT to be given national status to speed up the country’s higher education system.
The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Colombo will be made into a separate campus and the National School of Business Management (NSBM) and the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) will be given the status of national universities.
University Grants Commission Chairman Prof Sampath Amaratunga told parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE that although there should be 12,992 university lecturers, currently there are only 6,548.
He said that there was a drastic brain drain and the university teachers were leaving the country en masse following the economic crisis in the country. He added that the same situation applies to non-academic staff.
Professor Amaratunga, disclosed that 65% of the country’s schools do not teach science for higher education, and as a result, 25% of the children who come to the universities are pursuing an arts degree, and 70% of them are unemployed
With the economic crisis in the country, it has become a problem for professors to leave the country and at least 1000 professors should be recruited Chairman of the University Grants Commission further said.