A few blog entries previously I highlighted the problem with regards to Tech and University Students and how one set of students lose out when their College changes from a Technical College to a University. Just in the way that the Katubedda Institute of Technology, a highly respected establishment where all their diploma holders were snapped up for employment, have now been relegated as NDT in the Moratuwa University, who will now be removed from there with the establishment of a new NDT in Homagama, the fate will be the future for Hardy. The NDT has 350 students for each of three years for a total of 1050. Whilst for Engineering there are about 500 students for each year, and for 4 years a total of 2000 in the University Engineering Faculty.
NDT students will generally get jobs within a short while whilst BSc Eng students prefer to go overseas, as their qualifications are recognized overseas, and as the Minister of Irrigation recently stated, are finding it hard to fill their vacancies due to the lack of applicants, possibly for this very reason.
Hardy Tech which is a highly respected college in Ampara will now be given full University (degree awarding status) and along with it the current diploma programs will face step motherly treatment and students may feel that their entitlements will be compromised.
It is interesting to note that the decision to move NDT to Homagama was taken in 2000, and saying they are now going to move it is purely a political statement aimed at getting students to stop agitating, though in reality it will be at least a further 4 years before this act can actually take place due to practical difficulties in building a new Technical College and associated infrastructure including student accommodation and other boarding facilities. The biggest lie is that the Govt. has NOT allocated funds to build this new university which will cost a huge amount to finish as there are many common amenities that will have to newly constructed.
It is student lives that the Govt. is playing with. They should be more sensitive and find a lasting solution. It is important that as noted before the whole question of Diploma holders and Degree holders must be looked in context. It is ironic that NDT students have a greater likelihood of finding immediate employment locally due to the practical experience they gain as part of their course. Furthermore the expected salary is lower than a university student and therefore makes them more marketable, and less of a threat! As noted above with graduates moving overseas due to better remuneration, the vacancy problem is still to be resolved.