SAITM will have most sophisticated teaching hospital – SBApril 1, 2012, 9:50 pm
By Saman Indrajith
Higher Education Minister, S. B. Dissanayake, told Parliament last Friday that there are some professors who teach at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine in Malabe while serving State universities.
Responding to a special statement made by DNA MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, on March 20 in Parliament, demanding the government to take over the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), known as the Malabe Private Medical College, the Minister said there was no legal barrier to register an educational institute under the Companies Act. The University Grants Commission has recognized SAITM as a degree awarding institute which could offer BSc and MBBS degrees.
There are 29 degree offering non-state institutions in the country and all of them are registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, the minister said.
"There is nothing wrong or illegal about it. There are some institutes which charge hundreds of thousands of rupees from students and finally do not offer degrees promised at registration. Therefore, the need has arisen to regulate these degree offering bodies," the minister added.
"The SAITM charges only Rs 6.5 million from a student for five years. The most sophisticated teaching hospital with 1,000 beds is coming up in Malabe to facilitate the SAITM students’ needs," he said.
The Minister said that Sri Lankan universities have now advanced both in academic and extra-curricular activities and are now on par with international universities. "The University of Colombo is the eighth best in South Asia."
The SAITM has 18 senior professors of medicine at the moment, the Minister said. Of them, three are from Russia. The rest are from local universities including Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya and Ruhuna. These professors are on a seven-year sabbatical leave. There are some other professors working on visiting basis while serving in government universities.
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