Sri Lanka to invite private investment in higher education sector

Lakshman Kiriella

Sri Lanka would open up the higher education sector for private investment, an official said here on Wednesday.

Sri Lankan Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Xinhua news agency that five foreign universities, including Manipal University of India, have agreed to put up their branch campuses in the country.

The minister, however, said there was a case regarding the acceptability of the only private medical college operating in Sri Lanka.

The future private investments in higher education would depend upon the Supreme Court ruling expected soon, Kiriella added.

He said a large number of students went abroad on an annual basis for higher education as the country’s university system could not offer them adequate opportunities.

“Nearly 100,000 students qualify for university education every year. However, only one fourth of them can be accommodated because opportunities are limited at the state universities,” the minister added.

Also, Kiriella said new legislation would be enacted to improve the quality of higher education in Sri Lanka.