Opening the gateway to anywhere
The Education UK Exhibition, an annual event organised by the British
Council that promotes quality education in Britain, was held at Hilton
residencies recently. The Exhibition gave students an opportunity to
meet university representatives and have one to one conversations and
get to know the kind of education they would receive should they opt for
higher studies in the UK.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, British High Commissioner in Sri
Lanka, James Dorris, said education matters because it is a passport to
the world, and that English language matters because it is a gateway to
anywhere one want to go and for finding jobs and personal fulfilment.
He said the first ever international relations in education between
Sri Lanka and Britain was in 1950 between the University of Ceylon and
the University of London, and called the two Universities pioneers even
then for this new trend.
The High Commissioner added that some of the most extraordinary
literature including that of Shakespeare was written in the English
Exhibition showcase that although the UK is not a very big country
geographically, it has some of the top universities in the world, with
three of them being ranked at the top in the most recent international
rankings. The Exhibition also showcased UK's interest in attracting
students from Sri Lanka and options available for students who cannot
afford to pursue higher education in Britain to study for the same
degree in Sri Lanka and receiving a qualification accredited by a
British university through the partnerships between British and Sri
Exhibition also showcased facilities for technical education, especially
those conducted by City and Guilds, which offers about 500 vocational
qualifications to cater to the growing technology industry.
The number of Sri Lankan students studying in the UK has declined
this year because the depreciation value of the rupee, and because of
the more stringent UK's visa policy.
Director of the British Council, Keith Davies, said advice on
obtaining student visas is also provided at the Exhibition in order to
de-mystify some of the bad publicity around visas.
Chamath Peiris, Manager, Higher Education and Education Services of
the British Council said UK provides one of the most viable options for
higher education and it is important to raise awareness among students
through seminars and exhibitions. He also said that the most popular
degree courses among Sri Lankan students were in the subjects of
Business and Commerce and that Information Technology is also a growing
area, while Law has always been a traditional choice. However, he
observed that the majority of Sri Lankan students do not have the
academic inclination to explore the Humanities.
Other interesting developments showcased at the Exhibition were
opportunities for joint research projects between British and Sri Lankan
universities and scholarships offered under different criteria and
Reported by Ryhanna Salie
Pictures by Wimal Karunathilaka