Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education (SLIATE) will be converted to an institution that awards degrees, says State Minister of Technology and Innovation Thilanga Sumathipala.
He made these remarks at a special discussion held with the representatives of the association of academic staff of SLIATE, focusing on the measures to be taken towards the development of the institutions.
Further expressing his views, the Minister said: “SLIATE can be compared to a flower which has bloomed in the jungle. It is my view that despite having the capacity to add more value to the economy, proper usage is not being derived from SLIATE. Therefore, I hope to take action to develop this institution converting it to a degree-awarding institution. Our children hold different insights and outlooks. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the number of subjects being taught in the 19 institutions established island-wide, from 60 to 80, to suit their needs. We are committed to providing all the physical resources needed to acquire this status.
This institution could be upgraded through closer links established with University Grants Commission, State Universities and Non-government Universities which are authorized to award degrees, the State Minister said, adding that “We will take maximum efforts to initiate this task starting with several subjects which could easily lead up to degree status.”
He emphasized that the scope of the subjects being taught at this institution should be updated, leaning more towards the technological sector. “For this, the research institutions functioning under our ministry could collaborate in providing opportunities for the students to engage in new research. This makes it easy to add more value to the institution.”
Speaking further the State Minister said: “As an initial step towards fulfilling this task, a strategic plan will be devised focusing on policy concerns, convening all stakeholders, within the next two weeks’ time. In line with this strategic plan, the enrolment of students to the institutions will be carried out according to a new methodology. This is the long-awaited chance to upgrade SLIATE. Under the presidency of His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is concerned with and focused on the need to empower the future generation with technology for economic development, this task has become easily attainable.”
Upgrading SLIATE to the level of a degree-awarding institution would reduce our country’s money flowing into foreign lands, he pointed out.
He further emphasized that it would be converted to a higher technological education institution awarding degrees to future intakes of students similar to the University of Technology ensuring no disruption being caused to those who pursue studies in the institution.
At this discussion, the representatives of the association of the Academic Staff presented the issues and inconveniences that they encounter on a professional basis, and the Minister pledged his support to resolve the issues along with the development of this institution.
Mr. Chinthka Lokuhetti, Secretary to the Ministry, Prof. Janitha Liyanage, Dr. Arosha Fernando and a group of officials of SLIATE joined in the discussion.