The Sri Lankan legislators are as usual dreaming in Technicolor in wishing to have world class Universities under the Free Education system
If we have a world class University or two what are the implications? Firstly more resources will have to be spent on that, at the expense of fewer resources for other Universities. It is a zero sum game!! If that is a free University (tuition largely free) then those who go there have both a heavily subsidized education, AND they are able to command a higher income both at home and overseas.
Even if one presumes the BEST OF THE BEST will enter this institution, they are unfairly favored over other less gifted students, and as with gifted students, their intention is to get further education overseas to specialize in their fields, they will NOT have employment in Sri Lanka with their foreign scholarship PhDs. They will therefore only work overseas, with little benefit accruing to Sri Lanka of a world class University, except as an aid giving organization to the host Country of the emigrant.
It is therefore NONSENSE for the Minister of Higher Education to even make these nonsensical statements that are meaningless, and designed to mislead aspirants to a world class education for free!
Bearing in mind the interconnected world we live in, it must be understood that a quality education can only be had for money, except in the exceptional circumstances of gifted students who can somehow scholarship their way to the top anywhere in the world, and have only themselves to blame if they are unable to achieve their personal life goals.
The death knell of free Tertiary Education is upon us, as even the UK where I had a free Tertiary Education, has now become a very expensive place to study, and one finds it hard to find any country, possibly with the exception of Cuba that demands its emigrants send back their income to the Government, where there is free education.
What is clear is that the Private Universities in Sri Lanka MAY actually become world class if they are able to attract better academics, and relevant courses.