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The towers of learning : performance, peril, and promise of higher education in Sri Lanka (English)

Sri Lanka is poised on the crest of two great waves of opportunity. The first wave can transform the nation from a low-income country to a middle-income country. The second wave can transform the nation from a country in conflict to a country at peace. The higher education sector can and must lead Sri Lanka successfully over the crests of these two waves of golden opportunity. Higher education institutions should drive and accelerate the country's ascent to middle-income (MIC) status. Also, the higher education system should inspire the country's values, ethics and social institutions so that Sri Lanka becomes celebrated as an enlightened and peaceful multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. Sri Lanka's future in the global knowledge economy of the twenty-first century depends critically on the country's intellectual and human capital. The ability of people to think and act creatively, work industriously and productively, and innovate and adapt available technologies to strengthen economic activities is cardinally important in the modern world. In this context, Sri Lanka needs a higher education system that can produce skilled, hard-working and enterprising graduates. Also, the country needs research and innovation capacity capable of promoting dynamic economic development.


  • Author

    Aturupane,Harsha, Millot,Benoit

  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Education Sector Review

  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country

    Sri Lanka,

  • Region

    South Asia,

  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    The towers of learning : performance, peril, and promise of higher education in Sri Lanka

  • Keywords

    higher education sector;higher education institution;private higher education;gini coefficient;allocation of government resource;council for higher education;private higher education institution;higher education system;degree program;participation in higher education;culture and society;adult literacy rate;access to higher education;quality assurance and accreditation;vocational education and training;acquisition of language skill;skill need;higher education enrollment;strategic development;higher education development;higher education access;share of enrollment;quality assurance mechanism;expansion of enrollment;skills of graduate;employability of graduate;higher education program;degree of autonomy;quality and relevance;senior education specialist;impact of education;academic staff;devolution of power;private sector employment;private sector work;labor market need;quality assurance system;respect for diversity;changing labor market;delivery of good;expansion of access;gender parity index;procurement of equipment;good quality education;global knowledge economy;public higher education;Research and Innovation;skilled human resource;Science and Technology;higher education management;public sector subsidy;Poverty & Inequality;quality assurance process;quality assurance agency;competitiveness of firms;higher education community;quality higher education;access to ict;university sector;private institution;public university;religious group;lagging region;



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Aturupane,Harsha Millot,Benoit

The towers of learning : performance, peril, and promise of higher education in Sri Lanka (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.