President launches city university program to create job-creating economic environment

President launches city university program to create job-creating economic environment

Thu. July 15, 2021, 8:51 p.m. SL time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 15, Colombo: Keeping another promise of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s “Vision for Prosperity” policy statement, City University’s program to establish universities in each district began today.

Introducing the City University program as a concept, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa this morning (15) launched at the Presidential Secretariat the official program website ( on the occasion of the celebration of World Day youth skills – 2021.

City universities will be established covering all districts of the country with the aim of producing talented graduates, qualified with new technologies, targeting the labor market. The first university in the City University program will be established in Pinnawala area, Kegalle district.

After the GCE Advanced Level exam, 80% of those who meet the requirements for university admission lose their university entrance. Among them, economically gifted students attend private or foreign universities.

Through the City University program, the president hopes to award a labor market-oriented diploma to talented students who have passed the advanced level but are not economically advantaged to pursue private education.

The specialty here is the design of curriculum based on the district specific curriculum as well as tailored to the local and global labor market.

The Minister of State for Skills Development, Vocational Education and Innovation, Dr. Sita Arambepola, said that a future citizen full of professional knowledge and skills will be created at the end of the course.

Youth unemployment fell to 4% in 2014, but rose to 16% in 2019, said Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Youth and Sports and Minister of State for Digital Technology and Business Development.

Mr Namal Rajapaksa pointed out that youth unemployment could reach 30% due to the current global situation, adding that a talented young person should be born thanks to the diploma.

The young generation is moving towards modernity mixed with new technologies. The minister said that it is important to adapt to the world and that at the end of the day, it is the life you have to earn, not the habits you continually develop.

Minister of Education Prof. GL Peiris M. Peiris pointed out that while waiting for a graduate is a good job, correcting the incompatibility of some curriculum for any job is currently a responsibility.

As the majority of graduates seek government jobs, the president said a government’s responsibility should not be to provide jobs but to create an overall economic environment that creates jobs.

The president said his goal of the City University program is to create a person with the knowledge to be directly involved in the economy or to engage in a self-employed activity by the end of the degree course.

It is not possible to run 100 percent of public universities. However, the president said he too was opposed to running private universities for commercial purposes only. He added that the revenues of private universities should be set aside for the promotion of education.

The president said those campaigning against education reforms should present a modern education system and not advocate on political grounds.

The president also stressed the need to take action to speed up the implementation of the city’s university program from Kegalle across the island.

Presidential secretary PB Jayasundara, ministerial secretaries, the chairman of the University Fellowships Commission and other officials were present on the occasion.

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