May 25, 2010 (LBO) – The announcement by the new Minister of Higher Education, Hon S.B Disssanayake, on assuming office and in subsequent interviews, that the top priority of his Ministry will be to make available more opportunities for the youth to pursue university education in Sri Lanka has echoed a long standing wish of the community. To attain this goal, he has revealed that the ˜government will invite foreign universities of repute to set up branches in the country and interested private individuals to open private universities’.
The renowned scholar and respected educationist, Rev Professor Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero, Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, is also reported have advised the Minister that he should strive to attain his goal with an ˜unbending spine’, thereby cautioning the Minister of the need for standing valiantly to the mounting opposition that may come up from various quarters.
Opponents to Private Universities
From past experience, one may surmise that such opposition may come from his own Cabinet colleagues, opposition politicians, academics, student unions and citizens who may sincerely believe that it is the government’s duty to provide education to people at all levels. In fact, the first sign of opposition manifested itself within days of the Minister’s an