Sri Lanka higher education needs quality upgrade, more investment

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (L) and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe gesture as Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake (unseen) presents a supplementary budget to parliament, marking the first economic policy statement of the new government which came to power earlier in the month in Colombo on January 29, 2015. Sri Lanka's new government announced hefty taxes on top companies in a bid to raise revenue, accusing the previous regime of fudging the figures and leaving the economy in a "sad state". AFP PHOTO / Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

July 20, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s higher education system needs to be revamped with more investment to produce graduates with information technology and English skills, while private providers need regulation, a World Bank study has said. Higher education minister Wiswa Warnapala says expansion of the arts and humanities stream, low quality external degree programs, and student violence which result in frequent closures have made it difficult for some graduates to find jobs in productive sectors.

Make Work Crisis

“Therefore the burden is on the state and the perception of the graduate, articulated by certain political parties, is that it is the duty of the state to provide them with employment,” Warnapala said.

“As long as the entire system remains totally state funded, such perceptions cannot be eliminated.”

The perception has been found to be profitable for tens of thousands of graduates who have found ‘make work’ jobs in the state.

Unlike parents who mortgage their houses to send children abroad at a one off cost to themselves and the country, such graduates are a permanent drain on the people, who will eventually be paid a pension from people’s money.

In 2008, 53.6 percent of all taxes collecte