Financial Times

CIMA – Time for better regulation

Open letter to the Minister of Higher Education

With reference to the recent newspaper articles on the recent crisis in CIMA Sri Lanka, why doesn’t the ministry have proper regulation to regulate all these foreign degree-awarding institutes like CIMA, ACCA, ABE and CIM.

These qualifications earn over Rs 2.5 billion a year from remittances from Sri Lanka. Take CIMA, I read recently that over Rs 750 million had been remitted for 2008 alone. This is valuable foreign exchange.
The government according to a newspaper has also given the property in Elvitigala Mawatha where the CIMA office now stands on very concessionary terms. If CIMA is generating so much money i.e. Rs 750 million a year, should they not pay better terms? Why give them concessionary terms when many of our other education institutes and universities do not even have money to upgrade their computers? I propose the following

1. Review all concessionary terms given to institutes like CIMA, let them paycommercial terms from now on. 2. Investigate the affairs of these institutes by having ministry auditors to investigate their affairs to prevent local students and members being taken for a ride.

3. Have a ministry representative in all the Boards.

4. Provide a code of conduct to prevent exploitation by foreign principals like in the case of CIMA.

5. Review curriculum to ensure it has relevance to our country.

6. Ensure that people with some standing are appointed to the post of President and CEO of the institute to ensure there is proper governance.

7. Special exchange control license is issued annually to these institutes for better control

8. Bring a motion in parliament to ensure that in the future all foreign qualifications are managed professionally and regulated to ensure that our nation's interests are safeguarded. We need a law to make them accountable. Over to you Professor, the time has come to act. Learn from the Sakvithi and Golden Key debacle. Act before it is too late. Young people are our future!

Citizen Sarath

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