What After A/Ls?
You are one of the 175,000 students sitting for the G.C.E A/L exam Annually
- Each year approximately 100,000 students qualify to enter a university getting the minimum pass mark.
- But the state universities are able to absorb only 27,000 to their courses per year.
But the controversial part is even most of these students who are eligible for university entry will not get the study areas they prefer, You will be ‘compelled’ to choose what’s available depending on your Z score.
So What about the balance 150,000 above students?
What will be their future and how can they shape it in a way that is useful for them and the country?
Current Educational Prospects in Sri Lanka :
There are four types of Higher Educational Institutions in Sri Lanka.
- Public National Universities
- Private Institutes which offer their own degrees recognized by University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka
- Private Institutes which offer Foreign university degrees in affiliation with Foreign Universities
- Professional Institutes
In the context of not even 20% of those qualifying for university admission securing a place in a local Government University, the students have to seek for other options for higher studies.
- Go abroad & join a Commonwealth Government State University which are recognised throughout the world and get a worldwide recognised degree.
These Universities are also highly expensive, but there are many scholarship avenues open for you if you have results in A/L’s and luck. We can help & guide you in applying for these Scholarships. *According to the Government sources, over 40000 students go abroad for studies.
- Join the Open University of Sri Lanka and complete your Degree.
- Join a private Institution in Sri Lanka which offers private Degrees where the degree is been offered by some foreign University. 99% of these are external online Degrees.
- Join some local Institute and get a Diploma or a certificate qualification such as ; CIMA, CMA, SLIM, AAT etc…
- Join a Vocational Training Institute.
- Do some technical course from any Technical Institution.
BUT,…!!! If you chose to join a private Institution in Sri Lanka,……
- What do you know about these universities / Institutions?
- Are they actually the same institutes they claim to be or advertise?
- Are they recognised internationally to the same standard of a Government Commonwealth “National University” such as Peradeniya, Colombo or Sri Jayawardhanapura University?
- Do the students get the same real time International exposure & experience & quality equivalent to studying in a foreign Government University for real?
- Can you enter a National Government University in Sri Lanka or abroad for Postgraduate studies with a Bachelor degree from such a private institute offering a degree from a foreign university / institute?
- Are these programmes online, external or distance learning programmes of another University? Thus this degree you get will not be an internal degree.
- Is your investment worth it?
Now see a proliferation of Private and Public institutes that provide tertiary education in Sri Lanka which is becoming a profitable Business venture. Most of them offer Degrees in affiliation with foreign Universities.
It is becoming a serious issue now as there is no proper Organisation in Sri Lanka to asses these Institutions and offer recognised accreditations. This calls upon students and parents to be more concerned in their university programme selection.
The burning question in these private (Degree) certificate awarding Institutions are ;
- Qualifications required for Admission !!! (Some even admit without A/L results)
- Qualification of their Lecturers – Do they have PhD Holders as permanent lecturing staff.
- Do these so called Degree awarding centres conduct any active, worth – research?
- Do they have Campus – like atmosphere, what is the Institutional culture?
- What are the Sports & extracurricular activities available?
- Are these courses credit based & are they transferable internationally,
- Do they provide enough practical sessions with ample resources.
- What is the availability of intern ship programmes?
- Contents & Course materials.
- Passing rates and awards. And where alumni graduates are employed now!
- Are these Graduates eligible to sit for Govt. exams such as SLAS, SLES, and SLFS etc?
- Can they get Government jobs such as Govt. University lecturers, teachers etc.
- Is the Institution a Member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities
- Is the Institution a Member of the International Association of Universities
- Should be recognised & approved by the Local Universities Grants Commission
- Should be recognised and approved by Local professional bodies
eg : Medical Council, Institution of Engineering, Architects Association, Scientists etc,…
Thus, if you are taking the decision to admit to any of these private Institution for higher studies, you will have to carry a huge burden & a risk as although these degrees might even be recognised by the UGC, they might as well not be recognised & endorsed by the relevant Professional bodies in Sri Lanka. If you are not taken in to the relevant professional bodies once you graduate with the relevant degree, what is the point of wasting several years in life & graduating in the particular Institution ?.
If you are selecting a Private degree programme, look for following aspects:
This is your major life changing decision which will decide on your entire future. There are many popped up private Degree programs and Private Degree awarding institutes in Sri Lanka. Rather than recommending any of these degree program, we advise you to look for following aspects before selecting any of these Institutes.
What is the ranking of the degree awarding university in its home country?
Refer globally recognized university rankings such as Times Higher Education-QS World University Ranking, US News and World Report’s World’s Best Universities. University ranking and recognition of a Private University can be a decisive factor in gaining access to well-paid jobs and ensuring a place in an esteemed postgraduate institution.
But there is a big difference in studying in the original real University in its Mother country & studying in an affiliated institute of the said university in Sri Lanka. What are the academic quality assurances?
All national and regional accredited universities are listed in the UNESCO handbook of universities. This is used as the guideline by all government higher education authorities including UGC (University Grants Commission) in Sri Lanka. Degrees awarded locally by these foreign universities must be identical to those granted by the partner universities, and they should be accredited through the relevant accreditation bodies. The partner universities should conduct regular audits and assure equal academic and infrastructural standards.
Who will teach you?
Most of the foreign qualifications offered in Sri Lanka are taught by local lecturers without relevant foreign exposure. 99% of them have never even seen the actual Mother University. This prevents students benefiting from complete real-time international educational experience. Furthermore in many local institutions it’s common practice to see majority of faculty members with basic professional or academic qualifications teaching subject areas outside of their sphere of expertise.
Make sure you select the right institution that has lecturers who are qualified to do the job. This is one of the most important aspects.
The Degree awarding University in its mother country, although Private or Government, may be recognised internationally & comprised of high standards in all aspects. But the local private Institute which offers that particular university’s affiliated degree in Sri Lanka may not have at least the minimum required educational qualifications for its lecturers to teach the subjects, let alone the infrastructural comparison.
These local institutes, in order to maintain their affiliation to the Mother University abroad, may simply pass the student irrespective of the student’s educational standards in order to increase their Students passing percentage. But the product quality of these passing out students will be sadly very low.
What are the local campus facilities?
A good library and student resource centre with adequate reading and study materials, computer labs with up-to-date hardware and software configurations and high-speed internet connections, fully equipped engineering and science labs, classroom with proper seating, space and basic facilities such as multimedia and internet, and air-conditioning are considered as the absolute minimum for any international university student. As a result of limited local resources most local students are unable to enjoy the full benefits of their degree programme in local Institutes in Sri Lanka.
Quality of the students and their values?
Thorough international education is an essential quality in the job market. Furthermore it’s very important to know the calibre of other students who will be with you in the same class.
This is an important aspect of informal education in university student life, which cannot be gained unless you are studying in a real University rather than an affiliated Institute of a real University.
It’s quite unfortunate to see that graduates who are the products of these private institutions are alien to Sri Lankan culture and values. A proper understanding of local values and the ability to understand local, regional and global issues.
What are the job prospects for graduates?
The true meaning of university education goes beyond examinations and project assignments. Employers today need graduates with multiple skills who can start with minimum training. This is even more valid for regional and global employment where only the very best gets selected for top jobs.
The examination focused approach of most Sri Lankan private university education establishments fail to achieve the full potential of modern university education. The resulting graduates are not what the companies want.
Are you getting real value for money?
It’s sad to see that many parents and students wasting millions of rupees due to the lack of knowledge in their education decision making. As rightful consumers parents and students have a right to question whether they get full value for their education investment.
- So your “post A/L life” TOTALLY depends on the pass mark you get in you’re a A/Ls. You end up in different statuses, or levels in the society.
- It’s a big change for everyone. For students it’s the end of school and entrance to the real world. For almost 14 years you went to school and you were with a similar set of friends and now that’s changing immediately. For parents it’s a change too, and sometimes having children at home without school can stress the parents! Post AL’s time is more important as students take critical tertiary education and career decisions which can change the direction of their life and the entire families future direction of life.