(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to increase the intake of students admitted to the university system by 12,000, Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said.
“At present, only 31,000 students are admitted to universities and with the President’s proposal this number will be increased to 43,000 per year,” he said.
Minister Prof. Peiris was speaking to the media after receiving blessings from the Chief Incumbent of the Gaetambe Sri Rajopavanramadhipati Kaeppetiyagoda in Kandy.
He said that although the University Grants Commission had stated that another 7,000 students could be enrolled in addition to the current enrollment through the university system, the President had instructed them to increase it to 12,000.
Prof. G.L Peiris said it was the duty and responsibility of the Government to provide that opportunity to students who excel at their GCE Advanced Level but cannot gain admission to university.
He said that there are others who do not have access to universities and are reluctant to go to university even if they are given the opportunity and that alternative avenues should be provided for them to get an education, adding that the Government’s aim is to increase the quality of courses in vocational training institutes up to the degree level.
He said that there are 19 science faculties in the country and institutes have been established in each province to acquire technical knowledge.
He emphasized that the outdated courses in educational institutions should be changed to suit the needs of the time and that the education provided in schools and universities should be effective in obtaining employment opportunities.
He said that education should be modernised in line with the values that have been cherished for a long time and that the President has merged five ministries that have been functioning independently so far to create an education system that suits the country.
“Out of these, three have already been appointed,” the Minister said.