TWO new universities will be started this month, the Education Ministry said yesterday.
The University at Uva Wellassa modelled along a new concept focusing on Science and Technology, Export Agriculture and Animal Science and Computer Technology will be opened on August 7.
The University for Visual and Performing Arts located in Colombo will be opened on August 26. This will concentrate on disciplines connected to the Arts with heavy focus on Technology and Modern Arts.
These are among new initiatives spearheaded by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga as Minister of Education. In addition, 14 new degree programmes, the highest so far in history, will be inaugurated for the 2005 Advanced Level students in the following disciplines:
BSc Nursing, BSc Pharmacy, BSc Medical Laboratory Technology, BSc Physiotherapy & Disabilities Studies, BSc Radiography, Environment Conservation & Management, Facilities Management Engineering, Transport & Logistics Management, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Industrial Statistics & Mathematical Finance, Statistics & Operations Research, Computation/Management, Marine & Fisheries Biology and Islamic Studies and Arabic Civilisation.
This will increase the total intake for all Universities by 1,297.
Other new innovations in the higher education sector include Corporate Planning for Universities, Performance-based Funding for 2006, formalising quality assurance and accreditation of private sector higher education institutes and emphasis on employment generating disciplines such as Information Technology.
The higher education budget for 2005 was Rs. 2153.5 million, the highest ever in history.