The State university system is currently experiencing a shortage of about 2,000 academic staff and the crisis is deepening, warned the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations(FUTA). FUTA Spokesperson, and senior lecturer Charudaththa Illangasinghe told Education Times that though the approved cadre for university academics is 8,500, at present there are only 6,700 professors, senior lecturers, and lecturers. “Although the approved academic staff number is 8,500, our research has found that State universities require 11,300 university academics,” he said.
According to FUTA, the University of Peradeniya has the biggest shortage of 257. Moratuwa University has a shortage of 227, while the University of Sri Jayewardenepura has a shortage of 209 academic staff members. Colombo, Jaffna, and Ruhuna Universities are experiencing a shortage of 164, 137, and 152 teachers respectively. The University of Kelaniya has a shortage of 133 professors and lecturers. “The failure in addressing the PAYE tax issue by the State and the economic crisis are leading to more academic staff leaving the country. There is a demand for lecturers in universities and higher education institutions worldwide. This will affect the quality of our higher education,” he said urging the Government to address the tax crisis. -NF