Universities are only granted Rs. 7000 million

Posted on July 31, 2007  /  2 Comments

Rajarata university students' protest was blocked by the police near Higher Education Ministry premises in Colombo

University students in Sri Lanka have accused the government of secretly working on agenda to privatise state universities.


Duminda Nagamuva, convenor of Inter University Student Union (IUSU), accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government of gradually reducing budget allocation for state universities. 

“The allocation was reduced by 20 per cent in January. Another 50 per cent was recently reduced announced,” he told BBC Sandeshaya. 

Commenting on a recent report by government auditors, Nagamuva said the government has lost Rs. 389,000 million as they have failed to collect the tax revenue. 

Another Rs. 150,000 million was lost due to corruption by higher officials and politicians, he quoted figures from a recent parliamentary committee report. 

“Universities are only granted Rs. 7000 million,” the student leader told BBCSinhala.com. 

He was commenting after a protest rally by Rajarata university students was prevented from entering to the Higher Education ministry premises in Colombo by the police. 

Rajarata university students accused the authorities of failing to provide basic needs of the students despite repeated protests. 

President of the Rajarata University Students Union (RUSU), Dhanushka Kumarasinghe, said a Satyagraha has been launched in Mihintale 25 days ago. 

“We do not have hostel facilities; no teachers,” Kumarasinghe told BBCSinhala.com. 

The government have ignored the students’ plight despite their 45 day-protest, he added. 

Students who have travelled to the capital from ancient Anuradhapura district said they were not provided with basic facilities to continue with studies. 

“We do not have pure water to drink. Many will end up with kidney failures if they do not supply us with clean water,” Dhanushka Kumarasinghe said. 

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2007/07/070730_rajarata_students.shtml


  1. Why do we have a problem of unemployed graduates?

    What is the mismatch between the labour market and the educational system?

    Is the taxpayers money being spent in the most desirable form?

    There are shortages of semi-skilled and skilled workers in many areas but oversupply of graduates, perhaps the whole system needs to be reexamined from the start.

  2. Nishantha Kamaladasa

    It is no use in bundling graduates in to one category in analysing the crisis in higher education. Though we over supply certain categories of graduates there is a dearth in other categories. Universities produce graduates which they can produce and unfortunately they are not what the ones often required by the industry and the society. Private universities, especially number of foreign universities, have come up in bridging this gap, though how successful they would be, is still not known.

    It is true that we need more semi-skilled and skilled workers. But that does not mean we are already saturated in our higher education requirements.

    Probably, in addition to the readjustments in the portfolio of outputs, it would also be required to improve the quality of the same.

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