Given below is the text of the draft Higher Education Act prepared by a Committee appointed on January 27th at the meeting of the UGC and Vice-Chancellors and Directors.
The draft Act has been sent to the President Maithripala Sirisena, and also to the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, to take it forward after fuller discussion. The text was also sent to the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) to pass on to Senates.
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justice / March 11, 2015
The language of instruction should be English in all universities.
This is important if our graduates are to be recognised worldwide. India retained English in all universities, and all graduates especially in science and technology have spread worldwide, many teach at foreign universities and many have received awards recognised worldwide including the Nobel Prize.
Criteria should be laid down for the award of honorary degrees.
Amarasiri / March 11, 2015
Can you make your comment. Good opportunity to be searly. Amarasiri is too busy.
johan cena / March 11, 2015
Although this says ‘Higher Education Act” which is a good start, it goes on to address primarily university education, not higher education as a whole.
Vibhushana / March 11, 2015
Given current trends in globalisation cream from the University graduates will always seek employment in other countries.
The Sri Lankan tax payer funds the university education. However there will be no return on the investment to Ceylon. Instead some other country gets the benefit. Its a quite an absurd situation.
Most countries now give a low-interest loan to students. They choose how the funds are used for their higher education. The student only pays back the loan when he/she finds employment. So there is zero burden on the student when he/she is engaged in studies. The students will begin to value their degrees too.
So even if the student leaves to another country, he/she will be obliged to pay the amount back to Ceylon.
Navin / March 11, 2015
Your thoughts are as usual brilliant. They also accord with the philosophy of your heroes, starting with S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike who started the Sinhala only “business”. The purpose of education should be to keep the Sinhala Buddhist society blind to the progress in the outside world, and also allergic to outside influence. The English medium stream should be abolished, so that society will be compelled to listen only to the racist politicians, the children of whom should be exempt from this rule, and for whom English Medium schools should be run. Of course as a side dish Sri Lanka will get the benefit that no one will be able to get a job in any foreign country.
Vibhushana / March 11, 2015
Your thoughts are as usual brilliant.
Jagath Fernando / March 11, 2015
Medium of instruction cannot be English since majority of lecturers cannot teach in English.
Infact being an academic is the best job for graduates who are poor in English.
You teach 2-4 hours per week and very little research work and no weekend work.
You work during weekends only if you want extra bucks by teaching to Masters and external students.
Please don’t increase the allocation to 6% without improving the quality of academics. Waste of money.
justice / March 11, 2015
All teachers in science & technology subjects and medicine are fluent in English, as all textbooks they learned from, are in english.
The others do have a working knowledge of English and can attain teaching skills in English by themselves.
They owe this to the nation, especially to the youngsters who wish to prosper in life.
A lot of school time is wasted in teaching and learning religion. Religion should be removed from school curriculum.
Religion is a personal matter, and should be left to the parents.
gamini / March 11, 2015
I totally agree with you that Religion should be taken off the school curriculum. If not at least teach them but do not test them. As rightly said Religion is a personal matter. Unfortunately after English education was done away with, the scope for students disappeared and was limited within the country with a slow growth of the Economy. To make matters worse the riffraff in society entered Parliament and became the decision makers leaving the intelligent and the educated out. So naturally society became corrupt and violent. The politicians thought the breakdown of the society was due to lack of Religion. Hence they started to force down Religion and more Religion down the throats of the school going. This appeased the Clergy of all sects as their flock was bound for their own personal egos to be satisfied. This forcing of Religion has not improved an iota of good in society but has worsened the situation leading to further crisis of fanning Religious unrest.
Therefore as a first step, take Religion off the School curriculum. Then stop the uneducated becoming the rulers in govt. Implement systems to introduce merit as the criteria for selection. Automatically the society will become Law abiding and decent. Pouring down more Religion on society will never lead to a stable society.
Jay / March 12, 2015
I have not known of it being taken for discussions at all SENATES. I am also not aware of it being discussed by Teachers Associations and FUTA. It would be good to get their views also as early as possible.
I am surprised it had not reached ACADEMICS adequately, showing how far is the CVCD from reality.
Alex Jude / March 12, 2015
I find the following amendments matter a lot to the existing practice in universities in Sri Lanka!
1.All must have a Deputy VC appointed, during the absence of VC she/he shall perform the duties, instead he/she appoints someone who is good with him/her.
2.It is a good clause ‘no one can continue more than one term in office’ while we talk on power decentralization/devolution.
3.Since VCs are given power to execute ‘policies’, they all should get trained on ‘policy process’ prior to the appointment as policy making is not something everybody can do.
4.It is a good position to have a PROVOST for Research and External relations which are becoming increasingly important concerning the global standard of universities.
5.It should be ensured that the State Fund and the Endowment Fund are transparent and accountable to within and outside universities. We see nowadays departments and Faculties get some external fund which are not transparent or accountable!
6.University Service Appeals Board as mentions should be efficient and effective to give the resolution/verdict in the stipulated time mentioned.
7.It is a good change that Heads of the Departments should also be elected with the submission of a statement of aims, but I personally think that Council’s overrules here to scrutinize the academic leadership of such an academic is a sudden jump over from the Faculty Board and Senate who have known or observed the leadership capabilities from very near them, perhaps to avoid partiality?
Thanks for brought this to the public via this citizen media!
Dr,Rajasingham Narendran / March 13, 2015
1. Why not an independent commission to guide, oversee standards, recommend funding, disperse funding and the power to appoint Vice Chancellors?
2. Why not more powers for the Vice Chacellors to mould each university into a unique institution?
3. Why not permit private universities , parallel to the a State universities?
4. Why not polytechnics and other tertiary education centres, under the independent commission?
5. Why nor permit endowments to individual universities from benefactors?
6. Why not national and provincial level universities?
7. Why not grant individual universities the right to select students and students to seek admission to the university they desire?
8, Why not permit recruitment of expatriate staff to the faculties, to attract the best available and willing to contribute?
csm / March 14, 2015
There should be an outline of duties and responsibilities of the head of a department. As many HoDs abuse their power and positions.
Especially when it comes to requirements and delegating work among peers of the department.