- Urgent need for probate investments in higher education sector emphasized
Discrepancies in Sri Lanka’s higher education sector became apparent once again yesterday when the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced that only 42,147 students had been selected for university admission for the academic year 2022/23 from 166,967 qualified.
According to the statistics released to the media by the UGC, 274,304 students sat for the G.C. E. Advanced Level Examination in 2022, and 166, 967 of them became eligible for university education. Of them, 84, 176 students have applied and only 42, 147 had been selected due to the lack of facilities at the state universities.
There is always a huge difference between the number qualified and the number admitted. This has triggered the debate on the need for private sector investments in the higher education sector. The successive governments attempted to invite foreign universities to set up their campuses in Sri Lanka as part of the country’s ambition to become the hub of higher education sector. However, the politically motivated students’ unions affiliated to the parties such as Frontline Socialist Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) stood opposed to any private sector investment, denying higher education opportunities for thousands of students who are willing to pay.
It has also become a drain on the foreign exchange reserves because many students go abroad for graduate studies.