Lanka, an international hub of education:
Local universities to admit 50,000 foreign students by 2020
The Higher Education Ministry hopes to admit 50,000 foreign students
to local universities by 2020 under the Government’s vision of turning
Sri Lanka into an international hub of excellence in higher education by
There were only 300 foreign students in local universities in 2010.
This has been increased to 3,000 foreign students. Therefore, the intake
of foreign students to local universities has increased ten-fold during
the past three years. The Ministry’s target is to attract 10,000 foreign
students to local universities by 2016, Higher Education Ministry
Secretary Dr.Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne told the Sunday Observer
yesterday. One of the objectives of the Ministry is to make higher
education one of our major export earnings.
At present much foreign exchange is drained out due to the large
number of students going abroad to pursue higher education. Nearly 4,000
Sri Lankan students had gone to the UK and another 3,000 students to the
US for higher studies last year. In addition, nearly 5,000 students had
gone to Australia for higher studies last year.
Dr. Nawaratne said to overcome the situation, the Ministry hopes to
set up at least branches of five world-class universities in Sri Lanka
next year. The Ministry has already invited five world-class
universities to set up branches in Sri Lanka. Of the 17 local
universities, seven universities in Colombo, Moratuwa, Sri
Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya, Peradeniya, Ruhuna and Jaffna will also be
converted into world-class universities.
Sri Lanka’s vision is to become an international hub of excellence in
higher education by 2020 under the Mahinda Chinthana. Our universities
should offer courses that are recognised internationally by local and
global employers to reach this goal.
According to our higher education policy, the Ministry aims to
produce globally employable graduates and world market oriented
entrepreneurs. Our ultimate goal is to make Sri Lanka the most cost
effective and quality education hub in Asia, he said.