Sri Lanka’s President launches new ‘City University’ programme
President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reportedly launched the ‘City University’ programme that was announced in the national policy framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’.
The first university is scheduled to be established in the next few weeks in the Pinnawala area in the Kegalle District, according to local media reports.
As a prelude, President Rajapaksa has reportedly launched the official website (www.cu.ac.lk) to introduce the ‘City University’ programme as a concept to coincide with the World Youth Skills Day 2021.
The city universities will be equipped with cutting edge technology and established covering all districts, with the aim of producing talented graduates targeting the job market, the Daily FT reported, adding that 80% of those who qualify for tertiary education with GCE Advanced Level qualifications do not get the opportunity to enter universities while only those who are financially blessed will have the privilege to pursue their further studies at private institutes or abroad.
However, through the ‘City University’ programme, the President expects to offer students degrees suited to the job market for talented and capable students who have passed their A/levels but lack the financial support they need to go to university.
The initiative specialises in formulating degree programmes based on a curriculum specific to each district, as well as local and global job markets.
Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Seetha Arambepola has reportedly stated that graduates of these universities would be empowered with knowledge and professionalism.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Youth and Sports and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development Namal Rajapaksa has noted that youth unemployment had fallen as low as 4% in 2014 but had risen to 16% by 2019.
Minister Rajapaksa has noted that youth unemployment could rise to 30% owing to the current global situation and that talented youth should be cultivated through degree programs. The younger generation is moving towards modernity coupled with the latest technology.
He has added that it was important to adapt to world trends and that it was life, not traditional practices, that should win in the end.
The country’s Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has stated that the aspiration of a graduate was to obtain a good job, but that certain degree courses that are incompatible with employment opportunities need to be rectified.
Sri Lanka’s higher education sector has opened up new business/investment opportunities. The government of Sri Lanka is committed to developing and uplifting the country’s higher education sector to be on par with the fast evolving global platform. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region given its geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. All these positive movements have expanded the need to further develop the country’s higher education sector. It has also expanded opportunities in ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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