No additional intake of students to universities on 2012 results

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has agreed to admit an additional 5,609 students to Sri Lankan universities, based on the GCE (A/L) 2011 results but it would not be able to admit that extra number with the next intake, Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said.

He told The Island that the UGC had decided to admit an additional 5,609 students to universities following a Supreme Court order to that effect, but it couldn’t be continued thereafter without improving necessary facilities.

The Supreme Court ordered the UGC to admit an additional 5,609 students to universities after solving the ‘Z-score’ crisis. Due to this additional intake, about 27,000 students would be admitted to Sri Lankan Universities based on the GCE (A/L) results 2011. It was a 25 per cent increase.

Dr. Navaratne said that the remaining facilities, such as lecturers, lecture halls, laboratories etc. in universities were not sufficient to accommodate an additional 5,000 students.

However, undergraduate members of the JVP rebel group affiliated union, Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), have been insisting that the increased intake be continued for the 2012 A/L batch as well.

Convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara said that according to GCE (A/L) results released last Wednesday, over 6,500 candidates obtained 3As in the commerce stream, but normally less than 5,000 students from that stream were admitted to universities annually.

"During previous years, even those who obtained two As and one B could enter university, whereas this year, it seems even those who have got three As will not be able to enter a state university due to restrictions on admissions," he said.

However, Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) rejected the proposal to admit more students without improving the facilities.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri told The Island that though, the authorities had decided to admit additional 5,000 students, in the previous year’s intake, following a Court order, it was difficult to accommodate the same number again without improving available facilities.

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