should meet 21st century challenges, says Kadir
Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar says that there is a dire need
to reassert the university institution's role in society today.
Stating that it was the universities of the world that collectively,
think, speak, rejoice and weep for mankind, the Minister said this
reassertion would be a key factor in accelerating the pace of social
and economic development worldwide.
Minister made these observations at the Inauguration of the Education
Lanka Institute of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts
of India (ICFAI), which was held this week.
Kadirgamar further highlighted the importance of university education
in Asia, saying that many Asian countries regard secondary and tertiary
education as an integral part of their national development plan.
the Minister also stressed the fact that the future of the university
in a knowledge based society could not be discussed solely in financial
terms. "The unique quality of a university, be it residential
or non-residential, is its ability to provide room, under one roof
as it were, for a multiplicity of disciplines, including the new
ones, whilst also providing the opportunity and ambience for students
to interact with their teachers and their peers in a relaxed atmosphere,"
said Mr. Kadirgamar.
Minister went on to stress that alternative learning methods were
no substitute for actual, on campus learning. "Learning from
the internet is no substitute whatsoever for learning from your
teachers and your peers," the Foreign Minister said.
Foreign Minister also challenged the administrators and faculty
members of Asia's universities to think more on how they might better
prepare graduates to deal with the daunting problems of societies
of the future.
conclusion, Mr. Kadirgamar addressed the Chancellor of the Institute,
saying that he hoped that the university would not become mainly
a manufactory of graduates for jobs in the market but that it would
"strive to produce a university graduate who is flexible, self
confident and innovative to meet the challenges of the 21st century."