Medical faculties to be set up at Wayamba, Sabaragamuwa and Moratuwa unis

Aug 03, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to establish medical faculties at the state universities of Wayamba, Sabaragamuwa and Moratuwa, a senior official said.

“There has been various constraints in the progression of the higher education sector in the country,” Prof. Mohan de Silva, chairman of the University Grants Commission said at a recent event in Colombo.

“And now plans are afoot to establish medical faculties at the Universities of Wayamba, Sabaragamuwa and Moratuwa.”

In Sri Lanka there is a doctor for every 1,100 persons in the country, compared with the world average of 670 people per doctor. According to Fitch Ratings Lanka, demand is growing for doctors and better medical care in the island.

Prof. de Silva says that the country has suffered in terms of rankings both in a global and regional context and continues to have poor visibility as an international destination for quality higher education and student mobility, when compared to countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.

According to this latest world ranking University of Peradeniya became the best University in Sri Lanka, while University of Colombo was down to the 2nd place. University of Kelaniya is now ranked as the third best and University of Moratuwa is 4th with 5th and 6th slots going to Ruhuna and Jayewardenepura.

However none of the Sri Lankan Universities are among the top 2,000 universities in the world, and many universities decreased their world ranking position compared with previous year.

Prof. de Silva says that steps were now being taken to address these issues.

“The new technology programme introduced have become a hit among students, specially among those looking at progressing to middle level management positions.”

“Steps have also been taken to convert the English language units at universities to English language departments, to develop the quality of teaching.”

He added that the Independent Quality Assurance and Accreditation Authority Bill will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval and this would be the way forward to develop Sri Lanka’s higher education future.

Doctors and students have been protesting for months, requesting the government to shut down the private South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), the only private university in Sri Lanka currently training medical students saying that opening private universities will affect children from poor families’ access to education opportunities.