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Bill to be submitted to parliament to convert NCEs to universities

Thursday, 9th of May 2024

The proposed Bill to convert 19 National Colleges of Education into university campuses aimed at enabling teachers to graduate with a degree, instead of a diploma, will be submitted to Parliament next month, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha told the Education Times. He said that according to the proposal, the first intake of students will be next year. Recruitment of staff, appointments and approval for the degree courses will take place before the elections. Minister Premajayantha said the preparation of the Bill is in the final stages before being submitted to Parliament.

An allocation of Rs1 billion has been made for the preparatory work of setting up the universities. Rs650 million is to be used to purchase laboratory equipment and computers, while Rs 350 million is for the setting up of hostel facilities. He said that discussions have also been held to obtain USD40 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a three-year period to further develop the universities. In the first intake, the universities will be able to enlist 5,000 students through the Z-score system used to admit students to universities.

The Bachelor of Education degree will be one of the courses included in the handbook for university admissions issued by the University Grants Commission. The staff recruited will be entitled to salaries paid in other State universities. With the establishment of the new universities the number of campuses in Sri Lanka will rise to 35. Professor Gunapala Nanayakkara has been appointed to make recommendations on the administrative and legal procedure to be followed in establishing the new universities. Prof Nanayakkara said that some 4,000 persons who would be completing their Education Diplomas too would be given the option to join the new universities and complete a degree. -DWI

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