Quality Assurance Authority to assess private universities | Daily News

Quality Assurance Authority to assess private universities

The government hopes to set up a Quality Assurance Authority (QAA) to ensure that private institutes of higher education maintain the required standards.

Power and Renewable Energy Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said the draft bill on the Authority had been approved by the Attorney General’s Department and will be submitted for Parliamentary approval soon.

Addressing a media briefing on the subject of private medical universities at the Department of Government Information yesterday, he said the QAA is to be an independent body which will assess the standards of all private universities and have the authority to shut down those who do not conform.

As issues of standards and the privatisation of medical education were brought to the fold once again with the establishment of the South Asian Institute for Technology and Medicine (SAITM), the government has been grappled with the wider question of its policy on private higher education.

Perera said there had been confusion over what action needs to be taken as the government’s policy on the matter.

“We have now resolved the issue and made public our stance through a notice in all newspapers”, he said.

“If the government does not have its own resources to provide all qualified and suitable students with higher education, the government has to protect the students right to seek education elsewhere”, Public Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said.

The government has proposed to take over the Dr Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital and run it as a state hospital where all medical students can have access to its facilities, halt further intakes of students to SAITM until all recommendations are implemented and have students qualified from SAITM sit for a special exam decreed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council in order to be recognised as doctors.

Perera said there had been no opposition from Dr. Fernando over the proposal and he had agreed to hand over the hospital to the government at no cost .

Apart from this, the government has also taken steps to: “legislate the minimum qualifications that are mandatory for pursuing medical education in any university; make it mandatory for all private medical universities registered in Sri Lanka to maintain high academic standards, administrative procedures and proper management practices and all requiring that all such university are governed by a Board of Governors and are listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange as to broad base public ownership through shares; involving the private sector to increase quality higher educational opportunities within Sri Lanka for students who qualify for University admission but cannot be accommodated in the state universities; advising private higher educational institutions to increase the number of scholarships provided to eligible and needy students and increasing the number of students admitted to existing medical faculties in the state universities and setting up a new medical faculties (Kuliyapitiya and Sabaragamuwa)”.

Deputy Minister Wickremaratne however noted that new legislation will have to be drafted before the private universities are put on the stock market.

UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman criticized the GMOA for their trade union action and the former alleged that the GMOA together with the Joint Opposition were trying to use this issue to topple the government, “Neither the unions nor those with expired ideologies would be successful in their efforts”, Rahuman said.


 

There are 4 Comments

When QAA takes over authority from biased SLMC whether to close a Medical School, justice will prevail. SLMC is answerable as to why it has a pass rate of only 10% as opposed to state faculties which never keep back to destroy students who all go through may be with repeats. Inexperienced ideological examiners are accountable for results, however biased their views are. How could there be such a difference between state and the rest in studying power simply because of a concocted Z A/L at a point of time in their lives. Freedom of unhindered training and NEW LEGISLATION called by Deputy Minister are important and urgent. State students and post graduates now can have an additional high-tech hospital available to them.

This is a reasonable decision taken in the right direction rather than pursuing a collision course over the SAITAM issue with its all stakeholders. But the same Quality Assurance Authority(QAA) should be empowered to look into the quality of Medical education in the state universities too as it has been revealed that some medical faculties like in Rajarata , Batticaloa and Jaffna universities, lack in qualified professors, lecturers and other wherewithal necessary for a quality medical education. The quality of medical education in those universities can not be taken for granted.Since of late it was revealed that the present president of GMOA had been lecturing at Rajarata medical. faculty as there was a dearth of lecturers for some subjects. What he had been doing there is imaginable. Your guess is as good as mine.He must have been brainwashing the poor students there against private medical education in Sri Lanka. Only that he could have done there.

AP not only brainwashing untrained medicos, but on his way had his train derailed, and heard voice saying that he would be right hand of a former leader. SLMC dean there too got into medicine through court case and has an FMG for ERPM. These occult psychos don't teach major branch of Psychiatry in Rajarata and got it cancelled for all state MBBS. Its madness to hear them shout about standards, protecting patients. QAA if done academically and not ideologically can benefit medical education limiting the vindictive SLMC. If QAA is added to existing SLMC, it has a voice in the SLMC which then becomes more accountable. Age limit for SLMC must be 80 years. QAA must asses both private and state to align both into realistic unity legally.

Quality assurance is excellent provided it assures quality to SAITM MBBS not to be subjected to a series of conditions. If current doctors wish to submit to a biased illegal exam. of SLMC, they are welcome. All training and exams. to SAITM STUDENTS must be incorporated before Final MBBS to assure quality to this local MBBS. Later foreign uni coming in is 7 years away and should not destroy real quality of SAITM MBBS to be on par NOW with all other local MBBS. The answer is Common MCQ and not the illegal ERPM/Act 16/ 2 year delay. Biased Prof Carlo decently stepping down from his extension is a must "LET GO" for QAA.

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