Education in Sri Lanka

Education plays a major role in the life and economy of the country. The education system in Sri Lanka is free and the government has established central schools throughout the island to provide education to all.  During the last few decades, the number of schools and the literacy rate of the people have substantially increased. At present there are nearly 10,000 public schools serving more than 4 million students across the country.

University education is controlled by the government in Sri Lanka.  Undergraduate education in state universities is free, but opportunities are extremely scarce due to limited resources. Only 20% of those who qualify for university education will gain admission and the annual enrolment of students is around 21,000. The admission to the university system is highly competitive based on grades of the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level exam. Thus, only the very best students will get the opportunity to enter university.

Currently there are 13 state universities in Sri Lanka. The most prominent are the University of Colombo, Peradeniya, Ruhuna, Kelaniya, Jayawardenapura, Jaffna and Moratuwa. There are 6 other universities in the regions comprising Eastern, South Eastern, Rajarata, Sabaragamuwa, Wayamba and Uva Wellassa.  These universities offer two types of degree programs: a General Degree 3-year course without a major subject; and a Special Degree, 4- year course including research, with a specialization in a particular subject.

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