The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s top military university offers medical degrees

Also launches courses for civilians

The Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), Sri Lanka’s top military academy, is looking at a niche market in the post-war era– a fee-levying state university with a medical degree course.With a lesser need for active military courses, the KDU from this year has opened the university to civilian courses in addition to presenting military courses.

Offering a range of degree courses including medicine, the only difference is that these courses are sans residential facilities. The medical courses are, for the moment for Sri Lankans living abroad and foreign students, and not for those in Sri Lanka, Prof Ravindra Koggalage, KDU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) said adding that this is essentially geared for the private sector.

It was unclear however whether the university has access to a teaching/training hospital, a pre-requisite according to stringent Sri Lankan rules for any facility offering medical degrees. This is the main bone of contention at the controversial Malabe private university.
“This year onwards we have opened the university for normal students and have courses like any other university where the students come in the morning and go in the afternoon, because all other courses for the military are residential courses,” said Prof Koggalage said during a discussion that followed the presentation of a joint survey carried out by the Human Resources and Education Sub-Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with LIRNEasia on choices for higher education in Sri Lanka.

He said this year the university is undergoing a major transformation of the military university accepting civilian students.
The KDU has more than five faculties for fee levying students – Engineering, IT, Management, Law, Engineering and Medicine.
He said the medical faculty is geared to attract foreign students and Sri Lankans living abroad at the moment. It was unclear why local students are not being accommodated unless it’s owing to the fee structure.

He said that the course fees are comparatively cheap compared to other private universities and priced at Rs 350,000 for an entire 4-year degree course. “We mainly follow the standards set for state universities like University of Moratuwa, Peradeniya and Colombo. But sometimes our standards are much higher than theirs.”
Meanwhile according to the CCC-LIRNEasia survey Dr (Ms) Sujatha N Gamage, Team Leader, Human Capital Research Programme, LIRNEasia said they found that there are at least 46 private institutions and 10 public institutions that recruit students outside the University Grants Commission (UGC)-assisted admission system, in addition to the 17 public institutions for which admissions are assigned by the UGC.

She said that the purpose of this directory is to allow the parents and students to be better informed about the alternative to the UGC assisted higher education system. There are two types of alternatives to the public university; private institutions and public non-UGC institutions. She said that all these 46 private institutions have provided sufficient information and among them 29 had track records, 15 had students currently enrolled and two are to start programmes in 2012.

Of the 10 public-non-UGC institutions that included the National Institute of Business Management, Open University and Ocean University, nine are awarding degrees ones. The costs of the listed programmes (in the directory) can range from under Rs 200,000 to over a million for tuition and fees for the full programme.

Share This Post

comments powered by Disqus

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.