The rankings of Sri Lanka’s state universities have been slipping in recent years. According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, the highest-ranked Sri Lankan university is the University of Colombo, which is in the 1,501-2,000 range. The University of Peradeniya and the University of Sri Jayewardenepura is also ranked in the 1,501-2,000 range.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to this decline in ranking. One is the shortage of academics. According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), there is a shortage of about 1,000 to 1,500 lecturers in Sri Lankan universities. This has led to larger class sizes and less individual attention for students.
Another factor is the lack of funding for research. Sri Lankan universities receive very little funding for research, which makes it difficult for them to compete with top universities in other countries.
In addition, Sri Lankan universities have been criticized for their outdated curriculum and teaching methods. Many courses are still based on rote learning, and there is not enough emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The decline in the ranking of Sri Lanka’s state universities is a matter of concern. It means that Sri Lankan students are not getting the best possible education, and it also makes it more difficult for Sri Lankan universities to attract international students and faculty.
Sri Lanka’s state universities are a matter of concern and what’s more worrying is that the Ministry of Higher Education or the Grants Commission is nowhere near a solution.
The Chairman of the Grants Commission Professor Sampath Amatathunga who was recently testifying to parliament could do anything more than admit that the state universities are on a downhill journey.
The government needs to increase funding for universities. This will allow universities to hire more lecturers, improve their research facilities, and update their curriculum.
Second, the universities need to make changes to their teaching methods. They need to emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and they need to use more innovative teaching methods.
Third, the universities need to attract more international students and faculty. This will help to improve the quality of education at Sri Lankan universities and seriously think of developing research.