To our knowledge, the non-state sector in higher education in Sri Lanka is largely undocumented. The only comprehensive survey available was carried out by the Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) in 2012 in partnership with LIRNEAsia and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The information is reposted here in the public interest. The higher education landscape is captured as a directory of Higher education opportunities in Sri Lanka containing a listing of all degree programs offered by alternative higher education institutions or institutions that are outside the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC) mediated system of 14 public universities and affiliated Institutions. The alternative system consists of: 10 PUBLIC institutions which admit students on their own charging nominal to significant amounts as fees and offering 41 degree programs.
A dialogue reviewing the report was held on November 21, 2020, via Zoom LINK TO: Video (2 hours 30 minutes) LINKS TO: Summary PTF Report; Core Group Reports PRESENTATIONS School education – Dr. Tara De Mel, Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) Tertiary Education including higher education – Prof Arjuna Parakrama, University of Peradeniya – IT enabled education – Ms. Kavindya Thennakoon, Stanford School of Education COMMENTS Dr Lilamani Ginige (Council Member, National Institute of Education) Ms Dilani Alagaratnam (former President, Group HR & Legal, John Keells Holdings ) OPEN DISCUSSION 65 participants excluding the 6 scheduled speakers CONCLUDING REMARKS Overview and Way Forward – Dr. Sujata Gamage –
Held on October 17, 2020, via Zoom VIDEO Link PRESENTATIONS Assessments in Primary Education with a focus on the Grade five Scholarship Examination in Sri Lanka Ms. Sanuja Goonetilleke and Dr. Sujata Gamage, Education Forum Sri Lanka (EFSL) Review Panel Professor Angela Little, Professor Emerita at UCL Institute of Education, UK Dr. Longkai Wu, Research Scientist at the National Institute of Education, Singapore (Presentation) Mr. Muthu Sivagnanam, Former Director of Primary Education, Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka Moderator Dr.
Held on September 19, 2020, via Zoom VIDEO: Click here PRESENTATIONS SUMMARY Vibrant discussion on Integrating IT in Sri Lankan Education (Written by By Mr. Niresh Eliatamby and Dr. Ruwan Dias of www.cogitaro.com; Click here for PDF ) The latest Education Policy Dialogue webinar conducted by Education Forum Sri Lanka witnessed a vibrant discussion among the panel and the audience on the role that ICT should play in the field of education in Sri Lanka.
Click here for the video. Prof. Veranja Karunarathna, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Peradeniya and Vice Chancellor of Slintec Academy, noted in his presentation that there has been a definite reduction in quality of graduate education over the years due to many factors, but showed that Sri Lanka does produce a high number of academic papers by graduate students and researchers per dollar invested in comparison to many countries. He also spoke on the negative impact of irregular appointments and promotions within universities; and the need for the appointment of Vice Chancellors to be on a merit-based system. The small number of PhDs conferred by Sri Lankan universities and the corresponding low amount of research was also a matter of concern in the global reputation of Sri Lankan universities.
Click here for video. Mr. Niresh Eliatamby of Cogitaro provided a description of the global university rankings system and its important role in the reputation of universities and countries, including the opportunities for universities to generate their own revenue rather than depend on state funding. Emphasis was placed on the dramatic rise of Asian universities into the top 100 of global rankings over the last decade, with the advancement of each university displayed. Dr.
Click here for video. Mr. Anura Dissanayake, former secretary for higher education, provided insights into the challenges of funding and management of Sri Lanka’s university system and gave a key point of discussion for the forum by describing the Government’s plans for the setting up of an International University Zone in Horana, where up to 10 international universities would be encouraged to commence franchise operations to serve foreign university student in the South Asian region, with specific reference to the increased market demand from Bangladeshi students. He also spoke on plans to establish ten more universities in various provinces in order to reach a wider swathe of the population.
Prof. Bal Chandra Luitel, School of Education, Kathmandu University (Translated from Nepalese by Bineeta Baral) Lock-down has changed every day life’s activity not only mine but everyone else. If I have to talk about me, I used to reach the University around 11 am and stayed there until 6 pm and during evening classes until 8:30 pm. I have now shifted my evening classes to the day time. They no go on from 3 pm to 5 pm.
The important contemporary topic of ‘World Class Universities & Universal Higher Education: Can We Have It All?’ was the theme of the latest Education Policy Dialogue, organized by Education Forum Sri Lanka and held on Saturday 15th August 2020. The webinar provided insights and discussed challenges that would of much use to policymakers, university administrators and academics in charting the future of the Sri Lankan university system. It examined challenges to the competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s universities in the world of tertiary education and the way forward for Sri Lanka to enhance the quality of its universities in order to achieve the twin targets of widening the reach of university education throughout Sri Lanka and making the country a regional hub for knowledge. Dr.
Held on August 15, 2020, via Zoom Video: Click here PresentationsFunding and Management (Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education)Global Rankings (Dr. Nicholas Ruwan Dias & Niresh Eliatamby, Managing Partners, Cogitaro.com)Research and Graduate Education (Prof. Veranja Karunarathna, University of Peradeniya and Vice Chancellor, SLINTEC Academy) The important contemporary topic of ‘World Class Universities & Universal Higher Education: Can We Have It All?