Friday, July 3, 2015

Selecting an accredited & recognised Higher educational institution to get your Degree!!! (Part 02)

What After A/L’s ?

Cont. Article of : What After A/L’s ? Selecting a University / Institute to pursue your Higher Education if you have not entered a local University


As we discussed in my previous article about the Higher education options a Sri Lankan Student has in Sri Lanka, in their quest for higher education and training, students and the public sometimes encounter “DEGREE MILLS” – dubious providers of educational offerings or operations that offer certificates and degrees that may be considered bogus.

They may also encounter “accreditation mills” – dubious providers of accreditation and quality assurance that may offer a certification of quality for institutions without a proper basis.
Degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm the entire future generation of the nation. And the Nation itself is in Danger. Education plays a vital role in the development of any nation. 
There is a premium on both quantity (increased access) and quality (relevance and excellence of academic programmes offered) of higher education.
higher education institutions will always require independent accreditation to verify the quality and efficiency of their Institution.

In Sri Lanka or anywhere else in the world, degrees and certificates from these bogus’ mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go for Higher studies. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when providing Employment for these students. Nor any Scholarships or Tuition assistance for higher education would be granted for them.
“Accreditation” from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor an useable credential.

In my previous article I have spoken of four types of Higher Educational Institutes in Sri Lanka.
(1). Public National Universities
(2). Private Institutes which offer their own degrees recognized by University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka
(3). Private Institutes which offer Foreign university degrees in affiliation with Foreign Universities
(4). Professional Institutes

The first type of Institutions and their programs are well Recognised by Local & International UGC’s, Commonwealth Association of Universities & are accredited by recognized U.S, U.K, European, Asian, accrediting organizations. There is no question about Sri Lankan Government Universities.

But the question is about the Categories (2) and (3). There is no mechanism in Sri Lanka to assess these Institutions and guarantee that these Institutions offer quality Education. There is no parameter to judge whether they offer a quality competitive education.  
The issues of “deterioration in quality of education in most Private & even some public Institutions in Sri Lanka", is a serious matter to be addressed by the authorities immediately. An immediate Strategic Plan of Action should be drafted with policies including the establishment of an independent national accreditation body.

It should be made mandatory for every higher educational institution in the country to be accredited by this independent accreditation agency to verify the quality and efficiency of their programs.
This need is particularly critical in those institutions involved in online learning, because online learning has unusual technology issues and a wide geographic span, and Institutions offering foreign degrees in Sri Lankan campuses,.
This accreditation agency should support these educational institutions by acting as an industry watchdog for the organizations that accredit them and ensure those same accrediting organizations are kept abreast of the latest industry standards. 

There has been a widespread discussion in Sri Lanka for several years now that we should allow Private Universities to function.
In USA & Europe Private universities, are more prestigious and well-respected, than most Government Public Universities. Such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Buckingham UK, etc,…
Infact as we all know, privatized Schools in Sri Lanka, Monitored by the Education & Examination Departments & teaching the Local syllabus doing Examination Department exam papers, are more prestigious & well reputed than most Government Schools.
As such Private universities, if allowed with a proper monitoring & Accreditation system should be a huge benefit for Sri Lanka.
Although annually around 200 000 students sit for A/L’s in Sri Lanka only 25000 students are offered opportunities in Local Subsidised Government universities. Around over 50 000 student are expected to be going abroad for University education. This is a huge amount of foreign currency draining away from the country. This money can be retained in the country if we establish a well reputed methodically monitored an internationally standardised Accredited Private University system in the country which would offer quality competitive education. This would infact attract foreign students to come to Sri Lanka for Higher education as well, which would pave the way for Sri Lanka to be developed as an Education Hub.

But at present in Sri Lanka, If a student does not enter a Sri Lankan Government University, Some parents enrol them in Local private institutions which offers either UGC approved Degrees or foreign University degrees. But these parents fail to ask the most important question !!!

·     “What is the guarantee that these Private institutions can offer that their education system is well accredited & assessed by a reputed independent autonomous accreditation body?”
·     “Are these Certificates recognised internationally by all International Universities & are these eligible to apply for International Scholarships”
·     Are they actually the same institutions that they claim to be or advertise in respect to Curricular aspects, student support & progression?” 
·     Are these local private institutions, recognised Internationally to the same standard of a Government Commonwealth “National University” ?”
·     Do the students get the same real time International exposure & experience & quality equivalent to studying physically in a foreign or Local Government University for real?”
·     Can you enter a National Government University in Sri Lanka or abroad for Postgraduate studies with a Bachelor degree from such a private institute offering a degree from a foreign university / institute ?”
·     Are these programmes online, external or distance learning programmes of the mother University ? Thus this degree you get will not be an internal degree.”
·     What are the academic quality assurances? & Teaching-Learning and Evaluation?”
·     Who will be teaching you? How many Phd Lecturers, how many M.Sc’s? Who are the frequent visiting lecturers,.? What are the Education standdards of the teaching panel ?”
·     “What are the Infrastructure facilities & learning resources available & how often do they update.?”
·     “What are the Research, Consultancy and Extension opportunities offered, and Innovations and Best Practices ?”


Considering these aspects, it is a timely requirement that a proper independent, autonomous accreditation  & assessment body be established in Sri Lanka to standardise these Private institutions and make them a valuable asset to the country.

But currently considering the present situation of these private institutions the best option available for Sri Lankan students who pass their A/L’s but fail to enter a local Government University is to study in a Government Commonwealth State university in India such as Bangalore University, Mangalore University, Rajive Ghandhi University of Health Science & Visveswaraya Technological University, without taking a risk & going to local Private Institutions which may or maynot be recognised through out the world as they are not assessed & accredited. 
Indian Government Commonwealth State Universities are of the same recognition of Sri Lankan Government Commonwealth State Universities.
Ultimately these Graduates from India will be in par with any Sri Lankan Government University Graduate, in fact would be much better in English knowledge, productivity, forwardness, independence characteristics, quality of behaviour etc,….

Since 1991 AMASA EDUCATIONAL SERVICES has been consulting and admitting over 5000  Sri Lankan students to mainly Indian Government Commonwealth Universities and also for other countries such as New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada etc,... .
Majority of our students have gone to India as you can finish a complete degree including 3 year Hostel fees, 3 years food & living expenses & total University fees within Rs. 500 000 (Five Lakhs Sri Lankan Rupees). That too you can pay in instalments within the 3 years. 
After graduation they then either come back to Sri Lanka to follow the Postgraduates  in any National Government University such as, University of Peradeniya or University of Sri Jayawardenapura etc,… or some migrates to countries like Australia, UK, USA, Canada, Europe etc,...
We assist them in each and every step they take until they finish their studies. 
Further we do assist them in getting Permanent Residency in Countries like New Zealand & Canada as well. 
Contact us on 0777 840028 for further information regarding this or visit our website

By : G.A. Amodha Galgamuwa

1 comment:

  1. higher education institutions to set the price of their tuition independently of their students' ability to pay based upon their or their family's current household income. Teolinda Literature