Four regulatory and monitoring bodies will be established under the proposed Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Qualification Framework Act to monitor and regulate private degree-awarding institutions, private universities and academies, a senior higher education ministry official said yesterday.
Higher Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Navaratne said these monitoring bodies would oversee degree programmes, time allocated for degree and diploma programmes, the time allocated to lectures, the qualifications of the academic staff, the recruiting policies and minimum qualifications required for degree and diploma programmes.
They will also monitor and supervise, register and issue occasional guidelines to all non-government higher education institutes including the Chartered Institute of Management (CIM), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) SLIT, SLIM, ACBT and other non-state universities in addition to hundreds of diploma and degree awarding institutions that have been affiliated to foreign and local universities.
“Almost all these private higher educational institutes have been registered under the Department of Registration of Companies or under the BOI or both as private establishments. But there is no proper monitoring system on the degree and diploma programmes conducted by these institutions and no one can vouch for the quality of the degrees and diplomas offered by them.
Therefore, it is the need of the hour to have a proper monitoring system to ensure they maintain an accept minimum quality in their educational programmes that will be on par with international standards,” Dr. Navaratne said and added that there would be a continuous process of monitoring these private higher educational institutions which would be required to register annually or bi-annually under the Higher Education Council.
He said some 39 degree awarding institutions affiliated to local and foreign universities were in operation in the country and there were instances where some institutions offer diplomas in six months, degrees in one year and post graduate degrees in two years which reflects badly on the country as well as its education system.
"The registration will be withdrawn and degree programmes banned if an institute is found guilty of violating the provisions of the Act. All institutions will be charged an annual fee for registration,” Dr. Navaratne said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)