All universities will re-open for academic activities from April 27, Education Minister says. Meanwhile Several faculties of the Sabaragamuwa University will recommence today, Vice Chancellor Prof. Udaya Ratnayake said. Students of the Faculty of Technology (2018/2019) will commence their first year studies today and the first year students of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages will commence studies tomorrow April 20.
The Faculty of Management Studies will commence on April 24 for its first year students.
Sabaragamuwa University Vice Chancellor Prof. Udaya Ratnayake said that students in hostels have been asked to come to hostels at the respective faculties on the day before the commencement.
All universities will re-open for academic activities after the Sinhala and Tamil Avurudu New Year under strict health safety precautions, stated the Chairman of the Sri Lanka University Grants Commission UGC Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunga.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) will be meeting with health officials to discuss the matter further. It has been a year now since State universities in the island were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The matter of reopening universities in the current environment presents many practical challenges, Prof. Amaratunge said.
When will Universities Re-Opening ?
All universities will re-open for academic activities after the Sinhala and Tamil Avurudu New Year
“The main problem is that thousands of students depend on hostels and all facilities in hostels are common ones shared by students,” the UGC Chairman pointed out.
He said in universities such as Sri Jayewardenepura, there were some 7500 students who were staying at hostels belonging to the university. In some universities, almost the entire student population is dependent on hostels provided by the university, he said.
“You can imagine the risk of infection with 7000-10,000 students staying in hostels. We have to take precautions against that,” Prof. Amaratunge said.
The UGC had earlier planned to get university students vaccinated in April and then begin classes in batches. “However, due to the high global demand for vaccines, we can’t be certain now when we will get the vaccines for students,” Prof. Amaratunge said. Generally, the university student population is between the ages of 20-30.
“So if they do get COVID-19, they will likely recover quickly, but we have to also consider how we can ask staff, particularly older professors who have not been vaccinated, to come and teach them,” Prof. Amaratunge said.
While universities have been physically closed for classes, exams, staff recruitments and student convocations have still been happening, and classes are being conducted online for students, he said. The UGC Chairman said universities have covered syllabi for students for the past year through online classes. All Universities to Re Open after Avurudu New Year -UGC