Amidst reports of mushroom higher education institutions giving questionable degrees, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered that academic institutions must not be given permission to operate as BOI projects without approval from the Education Ministry or the University Grants Commission.
Deputy Higher Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardane said yesterday this decision had been taken due to concerns regarding the quality of such academic institutions established under BOI projects.
?There must be an accepted standard to run academic institutions like international schools. Otherwise, the quality of their academic courses cannot be accepted,? he said.UGC Chairman B.R.N.N. Mendis said that earlier any foreign investor could conduct an academic programme by registering it under a BOI project, and therefore the quality of those courses was questionable.
Prof. Mendis said they would consider the educational qualifications of teachers and the curricula before registering any institution.
The Oasis and Nawaloka Hospitals, the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and another institute from Malaysia have already sought UGC permission to start degree programmes including medical degrees.
The government has also decided to register international schools with the Education Ministry if they have fulfilled the requirements for such an academic institution. At present, they have been registered as business enterprises under the BOI or the Companies Act.