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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Disappointed over not securing university admissions thru’ UGC? This is not the end of the road!

The Island 24/07/2011

For those seeking other avenues for tertiary education including higher /professional / technological /vocational education

by: Prof. Dayantha Wijeyesekera
- Chairman, Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission.

The Post Secondary school students who sought Sri Lanka University Education having sat for the G.C.E. Advanced level examinations in August 2010 would have been informed of their prospects of pursuing a programme of study in a Conventional University in Sri Lanka through the admissions processed at the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Some would be rejoicing having obtained their desired field of study and the desired university while some others would be quite disappointed at varying levels. Also there may be some who have the required entry requirements, but nevertheless would wish to pursue other alternate avenues of Tertiary and Vocational Education. Furthermore, there may be those who did not even attempt the G.C.E. Advanced Level examination, since they prefer alternate routes of Tertiary Education as some of us did in following Technical Courses soon after G.C.E.(O-level) "Ordinary Level"

This message is not for a category of "Drop Outs" as I do not believe there is such a category, but to encourage and motivate the 96% (approx) of the age cohort who seek alternate routes for their career development through Tertiary Education of which university education through UGC at the Conventional Universities and their Institutes is just one of the avenues in Sri Lanka, catering only to about 4 % of the age cohort.

For those who seek "University" education in Sri Lanka, they should be reminded that within the UGC, there is the Open University of Sri Lanka and also in addition there are other Universities outside the UGC established under separate Acts of Parliament such as, the University of Vocational Technology, Buddhist & Pali University of Sri Lanka, Buddhasravaka Bhiksu University, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.

In addition there are Local Degree Awarding Institutes recognized by the UGC and the Ministry of Higher Education. These are as listed below and their respective websites would give details of the Programmes of Study being offered leading to recognised accredited degrees:-

* Institute of Technological Studies

* Institute of Surveying and Mapping

* Aquinas College of Higher Studies

* National Institute of Social Development

* National Institute of Business Management

* National Institute of Fisheries and

Nautical Engineering

* Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology

* Aquinas College of Higher Studies

Diploma level Programmes of Study are offered under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development and also under Ministry Higher Education. These are programmes leading to National Diplomas and Higher National Diplomas with career development pathways subsequently available to degree level.

Well recognized Professional Courses are also available through Member Associations of the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA). The Member Associations of the OPA which offer such courses are as listed below.

* Institute of Chartered Accountants of

Sri Lanka

* Sri Lanka Institute of Architects

* Sri Lanka Library Association

* Institute of Supply & Materials Management

* Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

* Pharmaceutical Society of Sri Lanka

* Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon

* Gemmologists Association of Sri Lanka

* Institute of Chartered Secretaries

& Administrators

* Institute of Personnel Management, Sri Lanka

* Computer Society of Sri Lanka

* Institute of Valuers of Sri Lanka

* The Textile Institute Sri Lanka Section

* Institute Chartered Shipbrokers, Sri Lanka

* Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Sri Lanka

* Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing

* Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka

Of course, there are also many Private Higher Education institutes conducting relevant training programmes through Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diplomas etc of International Qualification Awarding bodies and degrees of Overseas Universities. The Academic Credibility and the Registration of such non - degree level Tertiary Education Institutes should be ascertained from the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) the details could be obtained by visiting its website www.tvec.gov.lk. Undoubtedly, obtaining such qualifications through programmes of study while being partly or fully in Sri Lanka would be of a lesser financial burden than proceeding overseas , to obtain the same qualifications.

In addition to all the above, the trend in the development of Tertiary Education and Vocational Training world over is the rapid progress and recognition of Vocational Education. In some developed countries, fields such as Law, Medicine, IT and Engineering are now categorized as Vocations. It has to be clearly understood by Post secondary School leavers, their parents, teachers and school authorities, that while graduating to obtain a degree is prestigious there are many other avenues of obtaining Professional, Technological and Vocational Qualifications which can be equally or more prestigious rather than being an "unemployed graduate" with a degree or being a frustrated secondary school student repeatedly trying to secure a place in a conventional university.

There are currently about 800 Tertiary level educational institutes maintaining the TVEC registration, with TVEC Accredited courses. The Tertiary and Vocation Education and Training opportunities through TVEC Registered and Accredited courses could be verified by visiting the TVEC website www.tvec.gov.lk through the link "Registration and Accreditation".


Agriculture Plantation and Livestock


Art Design and Media (Visual and Performing)

Leather and Footwear

Automobile Repair and Maintenance

Marine and Nautical Science

Aviation and Aeronautics

Mechatronics Technology

Building and Construction

Medical and Health Science

Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunication

Metal and Light Engineering

Finance Banking and Management

Office Management

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Personal and Community Development

Food Technology

Printing and Packaging

Gem and Jewellery

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Hotel and Tourism

Textile and Garments

Human Recourses Management

Trainer Training

Information Communication and Multimedia Technology

Wood Related

Most of these courses of study are now aligned to the National Vocational Qualifications framework (NVQF) which ranges from NVQ levels 1 to 7, where level 7 is at degree level for some selected fields at the University of Vocational Technology at Ratmalana.

The TVET GUIDE 2011 presents Fields of Study as shown above, available in the Provinces of Sri Lanka in the various districts. For Human Resource Development and to be gainfully employed with career prospects for further academic advancement even upto degree level, these avenues should be explored and pursued rather than focusing only on the traditional routes some of which may be now outdated.