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New legislation to regulate higher education - SB

Over 30 private universities are already functioning in the country and there is no necessity to bring in separate legislation for creating private universities. Minister S B Dissanayeke said at a ceremony held to celebrate the New Year on January 2 at the Ministry of Higher Education.

The minister said that the new Bill proposed to be introduced in Parliament is to regulate organizations that offer higher education in this country without any standard or quality assurance.

'If any private organization requests the power to grant a degree, the relevant request will be forwarded to the University Grants Commission (UGC), a special investigation will be conducted by experts to determine if the organization is qualified to grant a degree' he said.

"There are some who award diplomas in one month, a higher diploma in three months, a degree in one year and a graduate degree in two years. We plan to bring the 'Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Qualification Framework' Bill to tackle this problem," Dissanayeke said.

The minister suggested that to allow paying students to enter state universities in addition to the current intake of non paying students will create unnecessary conflicts between students in addition to costing the government over Rs 100 billion.

The minister said that the university system is mostly peaceful today despite the Ruhunu University and the Peradeniya University having faced a few problems. Similarly the Homagama Buddhist and Pali University has some issues.

The minister said when he visited the 'Ruwanveli Maha Seya' in Anuradhapura recently, the chief prelate of the temple told him that he was pleased that the minister is paying attention to novice monks at the 'Buddha Shravaka Bikshu University' and taking action about them.

Some members of the JVP who allegedly create various problems in the university system by using students as pawns have recently been expelled from the party.

Student Dimuthu Abeykoon who gave leadership to the incidents at the Peradeniya University was among those expelled from the party.

Commenting further on the year ahead, the minister said that the ministry has received more money than from the last year's budget.

He asked ministry officials and the UGC officials to work together in cooperation and with dedication in order to face the challenges of the New Year and develop universities in the country.

 

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