Higher Education Minister claims 30 per cent increase in allocations to the sector

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday that the present government had increased allocations for higher education sector by 30%. Bursaries and Mahapola grants had also been increased, he added.

Steps had been taken to build 16 new hostels in all universities this year, the minister said.

Kirielle was speaking at the inauguration of the Faculty of Computing and Technology of the Kelaniya University. An Industry Interaction Cell for Computing and Technology was also launched.

"There should be better relations between the universities and the private sector," Kiriella said, adding that universities and companies in the developed countries cooperated.

In countries like the US and the UK company representatives visited second and third year students of universities, assessed their capabilities and recruited them into their companies, but universities in Sri Lanka did not follow that concept, he said.

Kiriella said the annual income of a country was not enough to pay off the loan instalments and interest. The new government was currently trying to change this situation.

"Today, our children are asking for government jobs, but we cannot provide jobs for all of them in the state sector," the minister said.

State Minister of Higher Education Mohan Lal Grero, Chancellor of the Kelaniya University Ven. Welamitiywa Kusala Dhamma thera, Vice Chancellor Prof. Sunanda Maddumabandara, President's Secretary P. B. Abeykoon and Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof. Mohan de Silva also attended the event.

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