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Mon, 28 July 2014 21:19:37
Sri Lanka in talks with AIT for campus
17 Aug, 2011 09:25:38
Aug 17, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lanka is on track to get about ten foreign universities under an initiative to expand tertiary education with Bangkok based Asian Institute Technology among them, an official said.
The AIT is expected to set up a campus in Hambantota in Southern Sri Lanka, higher education ministry secretary Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said.

India's Manipal University is to set up a campus near Negombo, north of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo.

The government is offering land and tax breaks for well recognized international higher education institutes to set up shop in Sri Lanka and break a state monopoly in degree awarding to freedom for students to gain a tertiary education.

Navaratne said the government was in advanced talks with about 10 institutes and relevant legislation was in the final stages of being drafted.

He said some institutions were getting land and others were going on their own.

He said the ministry was to have discussions with Treasury Wednesday about refining public policy on education.

Australian Technical and Management College (ATMC), an institute that works as an education delivery service for University of Ballarat in Australia said it was also in talks to set up fully-fledged campus.

"We are in discussions with the ministry of higher education on that," ATMC chief executive Manish Malhotra said.

"It is our long term goal that after a couple of year we will have a fully fledged campus here."

ATMC has just started a 'study centre' in Colombo to enroll fulltime students for the University of Ballarat in Colombo.

The University also welcomes the opportunity to have a facility with ATMC in Sri Lanka and the university will also make sure that facilities were equivalent to facilities in Australia," University of Ballarat deputy vice chancellor Rowena Coutts said.

"We like to make sure that as close as possible the student experience is the same."

Higher education minister S B Dissanayake has said that China's Beijing State University, London School of Fashion were also in talks with the government to set up campuses. Update II

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READER COMMENT(S)
3. Educator Aug 18
To Indika, I am myself involved in an international Uni (two high ranking from the UK) in SL and have personally experienced that the Maldivian market in SL is a myth, because those well to do rich parents in that country want to send their children to UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

From this region, they might select only Singapore. So, my institution is simply training some of the students for admission to those universities and not at the degree level.

I also had discussions with Monash to open a branch here in SL and the answer I got was a flat no, citing their bad experience in South Africa and Malaysia. By inviting third class universities here, we may sell the product to some of the local parents, but that is not the sure way to develop a long term strategy.

2. Indika Aug 17
'TheEconoCautious' I think you are wrong. Monash is finding it hard in Malayisa because they have made it a mess. On the other hand Nottingham Uni in Malaysia is largely profitable and tapping the local as well as the international community.

Many local institutes(private) gives really low quality degrees through affiliations. Education market in SL is a huge market combined with Maldives, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.Sri Lanka is poised to become the regional hub for education.

1. TheEconoCautious Aug 17
My fear is that whether there is enough business for them to sustain in a small country like Sri Lanka. All these institutions which are being lured by the Ministry are third-rated or unrated globally and have no prospect of attracting foreign students. So, once admitted with generous initial fiscal stimuli, will have to be continuously fed by the state in order to keep them afloat. Remember, higher education is not a profit making business as Monash found its disappointing experience in South Africa and is finding the same in Malaysia!