Being selected to enter a local
university is not easy. But once you have been selected, the administrative
procedure can be quite confusing. Renu Warnasuriya and Priyanwada
Ranawaka take a detailed look at the whole process
Entering a local university would be the dream
of every student who sits for the A/L examination. With the releasing
of the results, almost all students would be met with the big question
of what to do next in order to realise this dream. As the A/L examination
is almost a yardstick, which decides what is going to become of
a student in future, selecting and applying for a university is
an equally decisive issue; hence a student would need to know the
procedure, which should be strictly followed in submitting the application
for a university.
the A/L examination results are released, the University Grants
Commission (UGC) publishes an advertisement calling for applications
for University admission. The advertisement includes a list of authorised
dealers, from where the applicants may collect their applications
along with the booklet containing the rules and regulations. There
is also the option of collecting them directly from the UGC. From
here on the applicants are given at least three weeks to submit
their applications. “Students will be in big trouble if they
don’t read the book carefully before applying because it’s
a very complicated process,” says Mr Priyantha Premakumara,
Assistant Secretary, University Admissions.
all-important book contains the rules, policies and procedure for
university admissions and has the application attached to it. As
the policy of the UGC and various other factors keep changing the
book has to be printed on an annual basis. A regular school candidate
needs to state their period of schooling certified by the principal.
The process is slightly different for a private candidate who would
have to submit his original school-leaving certificate or the pupil’s
record sheet along with the Gramasevaka certificate or other documentary
evidence of permanent residency. If any procedural mistakes are
found in the application the UGC notifies the student concerned.
all the applications have been received and processed, a merit list
is prepared based on the Z score. It is from this list that the
final selections are made. “The numbers we can take in as
undergraduates depend on the funds, accommodation and other facilities
available in each university,” explains Mr. Premakumara. There
are also certain outside factors that influence the number. Mr.
Premakumara explained that the number of students that can be taken
into the Medical Faculty has to be approved by the Medical Council.
is an element of hope for those who are on the marginal line of
the cut- off mark. Other than for the intake of students under the
normal procedure, there are several areas of special intake. “This
is why students, who have the minimum qualification (three ‘S’
passes) should apply,” says Mr. Premakumara adding that the
students on the borderline of the cut off mark stand a chance of
being selected under these categories.
the normal intake, 0.5% of the places are reserved for candidates
with national or international achievements in various fields including
sports, drama, music, scouting and guiding. A national achievement
will only be considered if the candidate has received the first,
second or third place. In the case of international competitions,
however, even participation is acknowledged. When a candidate is
judged on extra curricular activities only activities three years
prior to the A/L examination will be considered. If for instance
the candidate has sat the examination in 2003, the extra curricular
activities he has taken part in, in 2000, 2001 and 2002 will be
considered. Candidates who will be considered under this criterion
however have to be within 0.200 of the given cut-off mark in the
is also a certain quota for disabled and blind students who sit
the A/L examination using the Braille system. Such students would
have to provide documentary evidence from the Examinations Department
and are only taken in to follow subjects in the Arts Faculty. Disabled
students must forward medical certificates and must follow the same
application procedure with a different form. They are admitted to
follow courses in Commerce, Physical Science, Biological Science
and Arts. Here again the numbers taken in each year depend on the
facilities available in the universities.
is also 0.5% of the total intake reserved for foreign students,
these students generally fall into five categories, children of
Sri Lankan diplomats working abroad, children of foreign diplomats
working in Sri Lanka, students from SAARC countries, Sri Lankan
students who have obtained qualifications for admission after studying
abroad and other foreign students. To be eligible to enter a Sri
Lankan university these students have to have obtained a qualification
equivalent to the Sri Lankan A/Ls.
also have to submit their performance sheets from the educational
institutions they have studied in. There is a separate system of
application for these students who have to collect the necessary
documents from the UGC. They have to apply through the governments
of their respective countries as well as the foreign ministries
in Sri Lanka. While foreign students are expected to pay for their
tuition there are a limited amount of scholarships available for
these students. “We don’t give a set number a year but
if we have an exceptional applicant, universities may decide to
offer scholarships in the form of waives up to 50% of the total
fee,” says Mr. Premakumara.
0.5% of the places in the Medicine, Dental and Engineering Faculties
are reserved for the enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces, Police
and the Special Task Force. A limited number of teachers who have
completed the first year of the GAQ and GSQ levels are also admitted
into the Arts, Biological Science and Physical Science streams.
the request of the universities the UGC can also admit an additional
number of students to follow particular course in the Arts Faculty.
“This is to make optimum use of the resources in the universities,”
says Mr. Premakumara explaining that certain universities are able
to take in an additional number of students for certain subjects
if they feel that they have the facilities to take in more students.
are however certain other conditions that the applicants must follow
if they wish to enter a local university. A student who is registered
as an internal student of another university for instance will not
be considered if they have not withdrawn their previous registration
within a period of 30 days from the last date of such registration.
Any student who has exceeded this number will also be eliminated.
A student who wishes to get an inter university transfer should
make a written appeal to the appeals committee in the UGC.