Higher Education in Sri Lanka – University, Vocational Colleges and Technical Colleges

Influence of Private Sector Education, Our homeland Sri Lanka comes across big challenges in keeping up the increment of the human capital to the level of demand since the opportunities of the higher education is limited. According to the statistical report of the year 2012, only 4% of the youths out of 25 age group have the bachelor degree in their hand. Due to the fact that only a few of them are provided with higher education opportunities.

University education has now become, cut throat condition on account of the University entrance is limited to every academic year. In the academic year 2014/2015 the total amount of students who got hold of University eligibility from the advanced level is  149,489 but only a 17% of the students out this amount got the admission to the state Universities.
In the academic year 2016/2017, 160,000 students were eligible for the university entrance out  of 250,000 students who sat for Advance Level and only 30,000 students are supposed to be given the admission to enter the universities. However, annually an average of 120,000 students over the eligible number of students is prohibited to enter the university education. Therefore, they give up their dream of entering into the University education. 

Mean while, the students who are fulfilling foreign arts plan from international schools were not given the chances into the Sri Lankan Universities. As a result of that 12,000 Sri Lankan students migrate to foreign countries to pursue their higher studies. This situation leads the Sri Lankan students to spend 50 million American dollar in the name of foreign exchange per annul. Further, many people who live in foreign countries are unable to enroll themselves to higher education and looking ahead to find alternative ways. Number of these people are increasing by numbers each year.

The non government stake holders which were looking closely about these issues entered into this field of higher education.  In order to cope with increasing demand of the higher education opportunities plenty of private educational institutes has now been entered into the market which offering varieties of bachelors Degrees in a great deal. It is a big fortune for the Sri Lankan students through expanding the higher educational opportunities by the arrival of private sector education. If not students may happen to pursue their higher studies with highest cost multiplied by many fold,
Now a days, the private sector higher educational institutes can be categorized into two types. First type, the institutes (Degree awarding Institutes) which are offering bachelor degree courses by registering itself under the Ministry of higher education. Second type are the institutes which are not registered and under the Ministry of Higher Education.
25 A Section of higher education act, Minister of Higher education holds the power in declaring the recognition to offer bachelor degree courses to those institute which meets the necessary requirement of its condition.

Accordingly over 16 non government sector higher education institutes are prevailing registered under the said ministry from 2015 to up to now. Those institutes are facilitating over 64 sectors of recognized bachelor degrees.

Such bachelor degrees are namely, Information Technology, Mechanism, Psychology, management, and Medicine. NIBM ( National Institute of Business Management)CINEC (Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College)Horizon CampusSANASA CampusSAITM (South Asia Institute of Technology and Medicine and ICASL (Institute of Charted Accountants of Sri Lanka) are  note worthy. These are registered under the company act of 2017 of No 17 or board of investment act of 1992 of No 16. 
It is remarkable that these types of institutions enroll plenty of Certificate level, professional level Courses like Accounting, Marketing, Information Technology and many more. These sorts of above course have been recognized by the corresponding Ministry. It is said that at the beginning 8,892 students registered themselves to pursue their bachelor degree course in 2015 while 60,000 of them registered for diploma Courses.

As far as the institutions which are not registered themselves under the corresponding ministry is concerned, they abstain from being charged by the education ministry as well as tend to be tied up with internationally recognized foreign universities. And the credibility of all these private institutions is defined by the recognition of its foreign universities. According to the provisions of higher education in Sri Lanka, there is no hard and fast rules in providing the foreign bachelors degrees by the local affiliated institutions which are not registered under the same ministry.As per the public administration circular No 13 of 1992, The University Grand Commission is authorized to offer the recognition to those universities which are mentioned in both international handbook of universities and Commonwealth Universities yearbook published by Association of Commonwealth Universities and acts these institutions accordingly.

As of now, the unregistered private institutions are providing most of their course in the field of business and management. Hence, in 2015 total enrollment of students for bachelor degrees was 4518 in numbers. And it is noted that there are thousands of students’ population pursuing their higher studies either registered or unregistered private intuitions in Sri Lanka. Even though this upward trend always paves the way for critical arguments and different opinions among the Sri Lankan professionals and intellectuals.