SRI LANKA: Revamping the higher education system

A new policy framework is on the way to allow more private sector participation in higher education in Sri Lanka and to set up a separate body to oversee private and public institutions, reports Dilshani Samaraweera for The Sunday Times.

The Higher Education Policy Framework will be finalised shortly. "A major deviation in the policy, from the present system, is to involve the private sector, because we have to accept that the state cannot bear the burden of education alone. Or that we should restrict higher education to a few state universities," said the Chairman of the National Education Commission, Professor AV Suraweera at the launch of a World Bank report on higher education in Sri Lanka, titled Towers of Learning: Performance, peril and prospects.

Sri Lanka's higher education system is under fire for poor quality degree programmes, particularly external degree programmes, and poor quality postgraduate education, even in national universities. Private education, meanwhile, is largely unregulated, with no quality assurance or accreditation systems. The new policy recommendations aim to improve the quality of higher education while increasing access.
Full report on The Sunday Times site