President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that in keeping with the government policy, education has been diversified, giving due priority to the professional sector of learning.
Delivering the convocation address at the first BSc degree convocation ceremony of the National School of Business Management (NSBM) held at the BMICH yesterday (January 29), President said higher education institutions like the National School of Business Management, which gives due priority to the professional sector of learning, assures the vital need to make learning relevant to industry expectations.
"Such higher education institutions also help save foreign exchange spent on students going abroad to obtain professional qualifications in such studies," he pointed out.
The President said that fee-levying higher education institutions like the NSBM will offer the vast majority of students who qualify for higher education, but could not enter state universities due to the shortage of a few marks forgoing an opportunity to become world class graduates and postgraduate professionals for an affordable payment in their home country.
The President noted that although correct data was not available, some say that monies spent on Sri Lankan students seeking higher education abroad could be as large as Rs. 50 billion annually.
"This was more than thrice the monies spent annually to provide Samurdhi benefits. With more institutions such as the NSBM, we could prevent these monies from flowing out of the country and use it for national development," he added.
Spearheading to a future of higher education, the NSBM has formed strategic collaborations with leading universities in the world. The NSBM was providing graduate and post-graduate studies in 12 related disciplines," he said.
The President also said that the NSBM's Green University town which was currently being constructed in an area spanning 26 acres in Homagama, which would open a new chapter in higher education in the country.
The initiative which was to be completed in 2016 with an investment of Rs. 10.2 billion would be the first of its kind in South Asia and it would not only attract local students, but foreigners as well, he added.
The National School of Business Management (NSBM) has been established as a degree awarding school of NIBM offering undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in the fields of Business, Computing and Engineering.
Recognizing the trends in technology and globalization, the NIBM launched the NSBM as an alternative system of higher education to breed a generation of knowledge based employees. Established in 1968, the NIBM has experienced over four decades in the industry. Today, it functioned under the purview of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development. The first ever Convocation of the NSBM yesterday saw the ushering of 170 new graduates.
Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma, Education Minister Bandula Gunewardene, Deputy Minister Mohan Lal Grero, Academia and Heads of Departments at the NSBM, parents of the new graduates and students participated.