Despite the availability of free education in Sri Lanka, the opportunities available in the tertiary education is extremely limited. This environment has to change and it needs to change soon. One way of doing this is to provide scholarships to the students selected through a transparent and inclusive selection process. Inclusion should be across the board of the available higher education fields.
The Budget Proposal of 2017 (Sri Lanka) suggested to provide opportunities to students who are qualified in G.C.E (A/L) but miss out university entrance. Therefore, according to the Budget Proposal of 2017 under the student loan scheme a maximum loan amount of Rs.800,000.00 per student for the entire course of study, will be provided for those who wish pursue a selected Degree program offered by Ministry of Higher Education & Highways approved Non-State Higher Education Institutes. In addition, Rs.75,000.00 per annum for other expenses also will be provided as an extended loan facility at the same conditions.
Students who sat for G.C.E (A/L) in 2016 are considered as eligible under this scheme. The details shall be confirmed by the Commissioner General of Examinations and the basic conditions are listed as below.
- The students who fulfil the minimum requirement stated in section 1.5 and section 3 of this dicument will be considered.
- Their selection will be based on the all island merit basis which is measured by the Z score.
- Each student will be given any number of preferences for degree programs and institutes to apply, based on their personal interest.
- The highest priority will be given to the first preference of the program of the applicant.
- The selection of institute will be based on the preference of the student and the capacity of the institutes.
Along with above conditions it is highlighted that the applicants should fulfill below,
(i) At least ‘S’ grades in all three approved subjects in one and the same sitting, within a maximum of three attempts and
(ii) A minimum 30 marks for the Common General Paper in any attempt described in above (i)or re-sit for the Common General paper in 2017 obeying to the condition of the maximum three attempts.
While the students can only apply throuth the online platform provided here, the additional information required is provided by the government website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways in a 15 page document. Please do refer to the document and share it across the country. This mechanism will not only provide ability to more students to step into higher education, but also give the youth more sense of planning their careers around scholarships and grants that they have earned through their efforts.