Sri Lanka State Minister of Higher Education Dr. Suren Raghavan said that the Government will set up branches of five internationally recognised South Asian (SA) universities in Sri Lanka in the next three years. Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe, during the Committee Stage debate on the Education Ministry in Parliament, said that US$ 3 billion goes out of Sri Lanka annually to other countries because Sri Lankan students go abroad for higher education.
President Wickremesinghe said that by setting up foreign university branches in Sri Lanka, the country could earn US$ 10 billion in foreign exchange annually by attracting international students.
Dr. Raghavan said that the country does not have any direct foreign university branches at present and has around 35 private educational institutions, which offer about 100 foreign university-accredited graduate certificates.
He said the Government would take steps next year to bring these institutions under proper regulations. According to Dr. Raghavan, nearly 11,000 Sri Lankan students go to foreign universities for studies every year.
Opposition MPs including Samagi Jana Balawegaya SJB MPs, Tissa Attanayake, Lakshman Kiriella, Dr. Kavinda Jayawardena and Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, Transport Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Education Minister Susil Premamjayantha and MP Dullas Alahapperuma hailed the Government’s plans to set up branches of foreign universities in Sri Lanka.
Source – SundayObserver