The Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) has commended the progress achieved by the University of Sri Jayawardenapura in various initiatives.
According to a statement by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the COPE Committee has also directed the university to provide a national strategy to innovate and modernize the state-run national universities.
The meeting commenced with commendations from the Chair and the committee on the status of the reports submitted by the Auditor General concerning the University.
Among the university’s efforts, a matter of extreme commendation was the maintenance of a rolling fixed deposit which the university had cautiously developed over time for funding purposes to not burden the treasury with certain running costs. The Chairman went on to say that initiatives such as this should be a trendsetter with the other Universities in the country and requested that Sri Jayawardenapura University set that example to take progressive steps to enhance the standard of undergraduate and postgraduate education.
Owing to the economic crisis, difficulty was encountered in filling the cadre, despite repeated requests to the authority. The Chairman of the Committee directed the University to officially write to the Committee on Public Enterprise requesting redress in this regard.
Regarding a land dispute that had arisen regarding money spent, but land not taken in full possession, it was revealed that the University had been dealing with squatters. Following Covid, the army had utilized the premises and that was where the logjam was. The Chairman assured the university that the Committee would write to the Defense Secretary in this regard for a speedy resolution.
Following a decline in World rankings from 2012-2016, the University since has steadily risen. Aside from internationally renowned research papers that have driven this ranking up, the university stated that intra-student conflict and difficulty in getting placements because of the extremely high qualification bar had acted as a deterrent towards attracting foreign students. The Chairman instructed the University to explore avenues such as student loans or amalgamation of the student body into some form of work within the university to supplement their study. The Chairman went a step further and directed the university to compose a national policy to address this and submit it for review.
The COPE Committee also directed the university to provide updates on the following for scrutiny.
- COPE requests an update within 02 weeks following a directive to initiate legal proceedings against a construction company.
- COPE requests an update within 03 months with regards to the status of an auditorium.
- COPE directs the university to work with the Finance Ministry and provide an update in 03 months about unutilized Scholarship funds.
- COPE requests an update within 02 weeks to sort out recoveries about the breach of bonds.
- COPE directs the university to expeditiously sign an agreement of mutual termination with a company contracted for the construction of a canteen.
The meeting was brought to a close with high commendations once again by members of the Committee and a request by the Chairman that the University pioneer a National Policy Framework for the other Sri Lankan Universities to follow for the strategic advancement of university education itself.
MPs (Prof.) Ranjith Bandara, Janaka Wakkumbura, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Eran Wickramaratne, Jagath Kumara Sumithraarachchi, (Major) Sudarshana Denipitiya, Premnath C. Dolawatte, and Dayasiri Jayasekera were present at the meeting. (NewsWire)