Select Committee of Parliament to make suitable recommendations for the expansion of higher education opportunities in Sri Lanka met recently on March 8th, 9th and 10th under the chairmanship (Dr.) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC. Accordingly, the current conditions in the higher education sector and the changes that need to be made were discussed in detail.
Representatives of the University Grants Commission, National Education Commission, Ministry of Education and other government institutions, university heads and scholars related to the field of higher education presented their views at the Committee meeting held.
The Committee Chair pointed out that basic structural changes are necessary to expand opportunities for higher education. He pointed out that it seems appropriate to establish a separate central authority to handle all the affairs of higher education and that one section of the authority that can be formed can deal with government university affairs and the other section can work on university registrations, regulations and other activities. But the Committee Chair added that this is not the final conclusion of the Committee.
It was also discussed at length regarding the creation of a public and private partnership to expand higher education opportunities and the necessary structural changes and basic facilities for the higher education sector.
Professor Sampath Amaratunga, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, said that the number of admissions to government universities is gradually increasing and that when the necessary structural changes are made, more students can be given the opportunity to enter the university. He also emphasized the need to start a separate university for Computer and Information Technology to expand higher education opportunities. The recommendations of the University Grants Commission on the changes to be made in the field of higher education were also presented before the same committee.
Apart from this, the National Education Commission, the Non-State Higher Education sector under the Ministry of Education and the Special Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Education submitted their recommendations to this Select Committee.
The Select Committee decided to invite the heads of national universities and representatives of Non-State higher education institutions operating in the island in order to get their opinions.