Thursday, January 13, 2011

Negotiations underway to set up Sri Lankan University in Maldives

The Sri Lanka Ministry of Higher Education for the first time is negotiating with the Maldivian government to setup a branch of the Sri Jayewardenepura University in Maldives.

It has recently transpired that a delegation from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Higher Education will be making plans to travel to the capital Male to discuss the proposal with the Maldivian government.

The Sri Lanka Ministry of Higher Education plans to first establish a Management Faculty affiliated to the Sri Jayewardenepura University. The Faculty will be providing postgraduate degrees and diplomas in subjects such as business management, business administration, marketing, finance and IT.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake told Haveeru Daily that the proposal to set up a University in Maldives will further strengthen ties between both countries and will give an opportunity for Maldivian students to take up Sri Lankan degree programs.

“There is a large number of Maldivian students doing their higher studies in Sri Lanka. This university will help students who want to pursue their higher studies but cannot afford to do a degree in Sri Lanka and those who want to complete their higher studies in Maldives itself,” he said.

“This move will definitely strengthen ties between both our countries. We have been sharing a very close relationship with Maldives and we want to take an initiation in setting up a Sri Lankan university for the first time there,” he said.

“I recently met with the Maldivian High Commissioner and other senior officials from the Maldivian High Commission in which we spoke about the university project. The proposal has been sent to the Maldivian Ministry of education,” Minister Dissanayake said.

The plan to set up the university comes in the backdrop of the Maldives High Commissioner in Colombo Hussain Shihab paying a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Higher Education in which he discussed the matter with Minister S.B Dissanayake on December 30.

At the meeting they also discussed expanding the scholarship exchange programme between the two countries.

The First Secretary of the Maldives High Commission Ahmed Mujthaba, Vice Chancellor of the Sri Jayewardenepura University Dr. N.L. A Karunatahne were also present at the event.

Establishing the Sri Jayewardenepura University in Maldives is viewed as Sri Lanka’s move to upgrade its universities into international standards.

Currently the number of students studying in Sri Lanka is around 3,000 and is rapidly growing with the emergence of several private institutions offering post graduate degrees and diplomas in Sri Lanka.

Source: HNS and Haveeru Daily

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