About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest. It is the only country in South Asia that is currently rated 'high' on the Human Development Index. Main economic sectors of the country are tourism, tea export, clothing, rice production, and other agricultural products. In addition to these economic sectors, overseas employment contributes highly in foreign exchange, most of them from the Middle East.
Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean off the Southeastern tip of India. For this reason, it is called the "pearl of the Indian Ocean." The land is flat and rolling, featuring lovely mountains in the south-central region which rise to over 8000 feet. Tourists are attracted to Sri Lanka for the sunny beaches, rainforests, and lovely vistas.
Essential Facts about Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka is a middle income developing nation.
- They have a per capita income of $1355.
- About one-fourth of the nation's population is considered impoverished.
- The current population is 19.8 million.
- They have a working government but have been in the midst of civil unrest for over 30 years.
- Despite the dark history of unrest which continues today, they are a country which is politically sound.
- Their economy is in trouble but they keep the cost of living low, so people who are more middle class can do well financially in Sri Lanka.
The climate of Sri Lanka varies dependent more upon the altitude rather than the latitude. Much of the country is tropical but hot and the climate fluctuates between dry and rainy seasons. There are some monsoons and many of the rains come from either monsoon, convectional showers, or tropical storms. In December of 2004, a tsunami hit the coast of Sri Lanka killing some 32,000 people and doing over $1 billion in damage.
A variety of diverse religions are practiced in Sri Lanka. In a recent census, there were reportedly 70.2% Theravada Buddhists, 12.6% Hindus, 9.7% Muslims, 7.4% Christians, and a small percentage of other religions being practiced. In a 2008 Gallup poll, Sri Lanka was ranked the 3rd most religious country in the world. In a recent survey of the Sri Lankan people, 99% of Sri Lankans reported that religion was an important part of their daily lives.
Study in Sri Lanka
Higher Education in Sri Lanka
Higher education in Sri Lanka is strictly controlled by the government. At one time, the government actually owned all of the institutions of higher learning. Now there are four types of higher education institutes of learning.
- Public institutes controlled by the University Grants Commission
- Public institutes not controlled by the University Grants Commission
- Private non-profit institutes
- Private institutes
While there are private institutions of higher learning, these are very difficult to find, and they seem to be autonomous only in theory. In one way or the other, they are all ruled by the Sri Lankan government and are monitored closely.
Some of the popular schools of higher learning in Sri Lanka are the University of Columbo and the University of Peradeniya, in separate provinces of Sri Lanka. These are both University of Grant Commission controlled institutions so they do not make any major decisions outside of the rules of the government.
One of the best parts about higher education in Sr. Lanka is the low cost. Compared to other countries, Sri Lanka's education fees for higher learning are very inexpensive. This offers a cheaper alternative to going to school in a more expensive European school. They are most known for a program they call "twinning," whereby students are allowed to couple their educational plan with other universities in Australia, the UK, or the US, by completing one year in Sri Lanka, and the other two or three in these countries. This saves them up to $50,000 in tuition overall by following this plan and they acquire a diverse education.
Eligibility for Student Visas
Students who plan a program of study from a government accepted school of higher education are allowed to apply for a student visa which will be approved by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. It is important that students know the assessment level required by the school they plan to attend to avoid refusal of a visa application. Also, the conditions of the visa must be approved by legislative requirements. Visas are offered to full-time students. No part-time student visas are available at this time.
Why Study in Sri Lanka?
Students wishing to study in Sri Lanka are attracted to the opportunities due to the tropical climate, the opportunity to learn about a unique cultural environment, and to learn from more than one institute of higher learning. Using the "twinning" system Sri Lanka higher education is so known for, students may combine their program of study in Sri Lanka with a program in Australia, the UK, or the US, and gain additional skills and knowledge, while saving up to $50,000 in college tuition and living costs over the course of four years.
The quality of education is carefully monitored, since it is controlled by the government, so standards are kept high. Also, since English is the main medium of instruction in Sri Lanka, this allows anyone wishing to learn English an opportunity to do so in correlation to their studies. Careers in medicine, business, law, and many other discipline areas are possible once a student has completed their course of study in Sri Lanka. There are also some popular research institutions which sometimes hire students upon the completion of their educational program.
The educational experience received from an education in Sri Lanka paves the way for many opportunities after their course of study is completed. Sri Lanka offers a rich and unique cultural experience and special educational learning opportunity it is difficult to find elsewhere in the world.