FUTA complains of back-door entry to university one year later

UGC says girl’s appeal had valid reasons and highest Z score

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to explain why a student had been admitted outside the laid down procedure on the basis of a letter from Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa.

Addressing a media conference at the Colombo University Faculty Club, FUTA executive committee member Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that the UGC had admitted a student who had applied for admission one year later to the Ruhuna University just because she had a letter issued by MP Rajapaksa.

"According to the UGC procedures, it was a totally wrong practice," he said, adding that it was very pathetic that university admissions were being influenced by politicians.

Dr. Dewasiri called for an impartial inquiry.

Annually hundreds of appeals were submitted by students, but the UGC did not consider those appeals even when they were submitted within the stipulated period, but in the particular instance it had been considered even after one year, Dr. Dewasiri said.

The senior academic said that the FUTA had called on the authorities to reveal all details pertaining to the selection of students to universities.

UGC Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, contacted for comment, said that the student concerned had one of the highest Z-score marks in the Arts stream, but she had not been able to apply for university admission due to her mother’s illness.

"All details in her appeal were found to be acceptable and the Commission had approved it," she said, adding that Dean of the Ruhuna Arts Faculty, too, had agreed to admit her.

The UGC had not done so on the basis of a politician’s letter, Prof. Hirimburegama maintained.

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