Highlighting that Sri Lanka currently has an outdated education system, President Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed in the 2024 Budget Speech that a series of comprehensive education reforms are due to be implemented.

Accordingly, a group of 25 experts have been appointed to prepare a new national education policy framework, which was adapted by the Cabinet.

Under these reforms, several key institutions are slated to be established, including the Higher National Council on Education, National Higher Education Commission and the National Skills Commission, President Wickremesinghe said, adding that further details in this regard will be revealed in Parliament by the Minister of Education within the next two weeks.

Speaking further in relation to the expansion of state universities, the Head of State noted that four new universities would be established, considering the current trends for the technical sector.

Accordingly, the Seethawaka Science and Technology, Kurunegala Technology University under the Kotelawala Defence University, Management and Technology University and the International University of Climate Change are slated to be established.

Furthermore, the Head of State also highlighted the need to enhance state universities to suit the modern era, adding that a program to do so will be initiated, starting with the University of Peradeniya.

“Rs. 500 million will be allocated for the initial development activities of this programme aimed at the centenary celebrations of Peradeniya University in 2042”.

Meanwhile, four private institutions, namely, NSBM, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), Horizon Campus and the Royal Institute of Colombo (RIC), are also set to be converted to private ‘universities’, as part of the new reforms.

With regards to non-state universities, the President noted that Sri Lanka will henceforth allow for any recognised educational institution in the world to establish universities in Sri Lanka, following the implementation of a set of rules for the regulation of non-state universities.

“This will create opportunities for every student who passes G.C.E (Advanced Level) to obtain university education and earn foreign exchange through the admission of foreign students. Loan facilities will be provided to students studying in these non-state universities. In addition to the existing interest-free student loan scheme, I propose to implement a subsidized student loan scheme through commercial banks. Arrangements will be made to repay the loan after getting a job”, President Wickremesinghe further said in this regard.

The Head of State made these revelations while delivering the 2024 Budget speech in Parliament this morning (13 Nov.), in his capacity as the Minister of Finance.

Budget in sri lanka parliament