The SAITM (South Asia Institute of Technology and Medicine) controversy was fast heading towards a violent situation that might claim lives of the youth in the country, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has warned.
Reminding the loss of lives during the efforts by the then Government to introduce private Universities in 1980s, the Minister in a Cabinet Paper had warned the Government not to aggravate the situation.
He said in the Cabinet Paper that universities in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany were run as none-profit institutions and university education in those countries except for the US was purely under the Government's purview.
He also observed that the quality of the higher education in India has declined due the privatisation of University education and the prestige that had been gained internationally by the Indian doctors was also fast eroding as a result.
Challenging the notion that majority of qualified students do not get the opportunity for university education, the Minister argued that those get three S passes at the AL examination were considered as qualified for university education but it was not in fact a good standard.
He also pointed out that many talented students in the urban areas were deprived of university education due to the district quota system that had been envisaged to help under-privileged students in the backward districts.
“The Government has to increase the student intake in order to resolve the problem faced by the talented students owing to the district quota system,” he said.
Hailing the standard of the State Universities in Sri Lanka Mr. Ranawaka observed that Colombo University had ranked 2,092nd under the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, while the SAITM ranking 16, 964th place.(Dayaseeli Liyanage)