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Sunday, 28 February 2016

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Education UK Exhibition:

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 language.

The 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 Lankan universities.

The 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 different values.

Reported by Ryhanna Salie

Pictures by Wimal Karunathilaka

 

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