City university program launched | Sunday Observer

City university program launched

18 July, 2021

The City University program has commenced keeping another promise made in the national policy framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”. Its the first University planned to be established in the next few weeks, in Pinnawala area in the Kegalle District.

As the foremost step of the program President Gotabaya Rajapaksa launched the official website ( to introduce the city university program as a concept at the Presidential Secretariat this week to coincide with the World Youth Skills Day – 2021.

The city universities will be established covering all districts with the aim of producing talented graduates equipped with the cutting edge technology, targeting the job market.

Eighty percent of those who qualify for tertiary education at the GCE Advanced Level examination do not get an opportunity to enter universities.

Only those who are financially blessed will have the privilege to pursue their further studies at private institutes or abroad.

The President expects to offer a degree compatible for the job market to the talented and capable students who have passed the Advanced Level examination and yet lack the financial support they need through the City University program.

The program specialises in formulating degree programs based on a curriculum specific to each district as well as local and global job markets.

State Minister of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Seetha Arambepola, said that a citizen empowered with knowledge and professionalism will leave the university following their graduation.

Minister of Youth & Sports and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Namal Rajapaksa, said that youth unemployment fell as low as four percent in 2014 but has risen to 16 percent by 2019.

Minister Rajapaksa said out that youth unemployment could rise to 30 percent due to the current global situation and that a talented youth should be created through degree programs.

The young generation is moving towards modernity coupled with the latest technology. The Minister said that it was important to adapt to the world trends and that it was life, not traditional practices, that should win in the end.

Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that the aspiration of a graduate is to obtain a good job, but it has become today’s responsibility to rectify the certain degree courses that are incompatible with any employment opportunity.

Many graduates seek government employment. However, the President said that the responsibility of a Government should not be to provide jobs but to create a comprehensive economic environment that enables creation of jobs.

The President said that his objective of the ‘city university’ program is to create a person who can directly contribute to the economy or who possesses the knowledge to engage in self-employment at the end of the degree course.

It is not possible to maintain only government universities one hundred percent. However, the President stated that he was also opposed to operating private universities as a business.

Income generated from private universities should be set aside for the promotion of education itself.

The President said that those who protest against educational reforms should come up with proposals for a modern education system instead of advocating political motives.

The President also the need to take steps to expedite the implementation of the city university program commencing from Kegalle, throughout the island.

Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries to the Ministries, Chairman of the University Grants Commission and other officials were present at the meeting.