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Sri Lanka - Education System !

Higher Education Systems Database
Source: International Association of Universities/UNESCO
International Centre on Higher Education



INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS

Types of higher education institutions:

University

Institute of Higher Education

Open University

 School leaving and higher education credentials:

Sri Lankan General Certificate of Education Advanced  Level

Diploma/Certificate

Trained Teacher's Certificate (Primary School)

Trained Teacher's Certificate (Secondary School)

Higher National Diploma

Bachelor Degree

Postgraduate Diploma

Master's Degree

Doctorate

 STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 5

Age of exit: 14

Structure of school system:

Primary

Type of school providing this education: Primary School

Length of program in years: 5

Age level from: 5 to: 10

Junior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Junior Secondary School

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 11 to: 13

Senior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Senior Secondary School

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 14 to: 16

Certificate/diploma awarded: Sri Lankan GCE O-Levels

Pre-university

Type of school providing this education: Collegiate Course

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 17 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Sri Lankan GCE A-Levels

School education:

Secondary education comprises junior secondary, senior secondary and collegiate (pre-university) education. Junior secondary education lasts for three years and is compulsory up to the school-leaving age of 14. Senior secondary education lasts for three years. At the end of year XI pupils sit for the Sri Lankan GCE O-levels. They must pass in six subjects including mathematics and mother tongue Sinhalese or Tamil. The collegiate course lasts for two years. At the end of year XIII pupils sit for the Sri Lankan GCE A-level examination. As from the year 2000, students can present three subjects for the GCE A level. The minimum admission requirement is a pass in all three approved subjects with an aggregate not less than 135 points and a mark of not less than 30% for the Common General Paper.  However, there are no special admission criteria for enrolment in courses conducted by the Open University of Sri Lanka.

Higher education:

Higher education is provided by universities, specialized institutions, such as technical colleges and affiliated technical units, and private institutions. There are also institutes of higher education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. They are attached to the universities. The university authorities are a Council, a Senate and Faculty Boards. The University Grants Commission provides funds to universities and advises the universities and higher education institutes on administrative and academic matters. Specialized institutions of higher education provide technical and professional education. Higher education institutions are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education and Information Technology Development.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 amended by Act No. 1 of 1995.

Concerns: universities

Academic year:

Classes from: Oct to: Sep

Languages of instruction: English, Singhalese, Tamil

Stages of studies:

Post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

Higher technical studies are offered in polytechnical institutes and technical colleges and affiliated technical units. They offer courses in Engineering, Commerce, Business and Crafts. Courses last between one and four years and lead to a Diploma or a Certificate. A Higher National Diploma is conferred following courses that last for four years at postsecondary level.

University level studies:

University level first stage: Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor's Degree:

Certificates and Diplomas are conferred after one to two years. Students must usually sit for a number of written papers and submit an essay, a term paper or a dissertation on an approved subject. A Bachelor's Degree is conferred after three years as a General Degree or as a Special Degree after four years of study.  General Degree students read three subjects and sit for three annual examinations. Students reading for the Special Degree specialize in the study of one subject. A Degree in Medicine is awarded after 5 years of study with an additional year of internship which is compulsory. The Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and the Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) are conferred after six years, with one year's internship prior to certification.

University level second stage: Master's Degree, M.Phil, Postgraduate Diploma:

A Master's Degree is obtained after two years of further study beyond the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees usually comprise a dissertation in addition to theory papers. The M.Phil  course normally consists in research. Postgraduate Diplomas generally require one year of study following upon the Bachelor degree.

University level third stage: Doctorate:

A Doctorate is usually conferred after two to three years of research beyond the Master's Degree and submission of a thesis.

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Primary school teachers are trained in three years (two years' course work and one year's practical in-service training) at a teacher training college. They must hold GCE A levels to be admitted. At the end of the course, they are awarded the Trained Teacher's Certificate.

Training of secondary school teachers

Secondary school teachers are trained in three years (two years' course work and one year's practical in-service training) in a teacher training college. They must hold GCE A levels. They specialize in the subject to be taught at secondary level and are awarded the Trained Teacher's Certificate at the end of the course.

Training of higher education teachers

Entry to the profession is generally made at the assistant lecturer level on the basis of a good first degree. Confirmation is dependent on the teacher obtaining an approved postgraduate qualification in the relevant discipline. All teachers have a probationary period of three years.

Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

Distance higher education is offered at the Open University of Sri Lanka, which provides first and postgraduate degrees, as well as Certificates and Diplomas. The Open University has Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology. It does not have formal entrance requirements.

Other forms of non-formal higher education

Non-formal higher education consists in an extensive six-month programme organized by the Ministry and conducted at school centres. Adult literacy classes are conducted by adult education officers in various fields. The National Apprenticeship Board conducts courses in technical and commercial fields.

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Ministry of Education

Minister: Susan Premajayantha

Secretary: Tara De Mel

'Isurupaya'
Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte
Battaramulla
Sri Lanka

Tel: +94(1) 865-141

Fax: +94(1) 865-162

WWW: http://www.lk/national/ministry/education.html

Ministry of Higher Education and Information Technology Development

Minister: Indika Gunawardena

Secretary: R.P. Gunawardena

No 18, Ward Place
Colombo 07
Sri Lanka

Tel: +94(1) 685-139  +94(1) 691-378

Fax: +94(1) 684-485

Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Directors (CVCD)

Chairman: Kapugamage Tillekeratne

Executive Secretary: Nissanka Warakaulle

University of Kelaniya, Dalugama
Kelaniya
Sri Lanka

Tel: +94(1) 914-474

Fax: +94(1) 911-485

EMail: vc.kln@dynaweb.lk

University Grants Commission

Chairman: B.R.R.N. Mendis

Secretary: C.S. Karunaratne

International relations: P.M.N. Bandara

20 Ward Place
Colombo
Sri Lanka

Tel: +94(1) 695-301

Fax: +94(1) 688-045

EMail: ugcchair@ugc.ac.lk

WWW: http://www.ugc.ac.lk

Role of governing body: Plans and coordinates higher education, allocates funds to HEIs, maintains academic standards, regulates the administration of HEIs and admissions of students to undergraduate programmes.

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Sri Lankan General Certificate of Education Advanced  Level

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Sri Lankan General Certificate of Education Advanced  Level

Minimum score/requirement: As from the year 2000, passes in all three subjects on one and the same occasion with a minimum aggregate of not less than 135 points and a mark  of not less than 30% for the Common General Paper.

Foreign students admission

Admission requirements: Foreign students should hold the General Certificate of Education 'A' level or its equivalent.

Entry regulations: They should have visas and sufficient financial resources in foreign currencies.

Language requirements: They should have an adequate knowledge of English. An intensive course in English is provided by the University of Sri Lanka. Preparatory courses are available in the case of courses in Oriental languages.

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

University Grants Commission

20 Ward Place
Colombo
Sri Lanka

Tel: +94(1) 695-301

Fax: +94(1) 688-045

EMail: ugcchair@ugc.ac.lk

WWW: http://www.ugc.ac.lk

Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University

Special provisions for recognition:

For access to advanced studies and research: University concerned

For the exercise of a profession: Appropriate professional body

Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: Convention On the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific

Year of signature: 1983

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: Handbook on Diplomas, Degrees and other Certificates in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific

Publisher: UNESCO PROAP

Year of publication: 1998

Title: Study Abroad 2000-2001

Publisher: UNESCO/IBE

Year of publication: 1999

Title: Universities Year Book

Publisher: University Grants Commission

Year of publication: 2000

STUDENT LIFE

Health/social provisions

Social security for home students: Yes

Foreign student social security provisions: All internal students (local and foreign) are provided with free medical facilities.

Special student travel fares:

By road: Yes

By rail: Yes

Available to foreign students: Yes

Student expenses and financial aid

Student costs:

Home students tuition fees: Minimum: 0 (Sri Lanka Rupee)

Maximum: 35000 (Sri Lanka Rupee)

Type of financial aid available:

Scholarships/grants/fellowships:

Higher vocational/technical studies:

Home: Yes

First Degree studies:

Home: Yes

Advanced/doctoral studies:

Home: Yes

GRADING SYSTEM

Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: 0%-100%; A,B,C,S,F. 75-100% (A) distinction; 65-74% (B) very good pass; 55-64% (C) credit; 40-54% (S) ordinary pass; 0-39% (F) fail.

Highest on scale: 100% A

Pass/fail level: 40-54% S

Lowest on scale: 0% F

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: A to E: A, 70% and above; B, 55-69%; C, 40-54%; D, 30-39%; E, 29% or below.

Highest on scale: 100%

Pass/fail level: 40%

Lowest on scale: 0%

NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

Data for academic year: 2001-2002

Source: University Grants Commission, Colombo, 2001

 



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