Sites for 5 mega knowledge parks identified
By Pabodha Hettige
The government has identified locations to set up five UAE styled mega knowledge parks, an official from the Ministry of Higher Education said.
"Lands in Hambantota, Jaffna, Kandy, Puttalam and Batticaloa have been identified as suitable to set up the parks," Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said.
These knowledge parks will house higher education institutes, hostels and shopping malls. The ministry will also facilitate the foreign universities, which have shown interests to function in these knowledge parks. "One foreign university has already shown interest to function in the Hambantota knowledge park and construction would start immediately," Navaratne said.
The ministry has received investment proposals to develop the knowledge parks from various sources. Investors based in the UAE and the UK have agreed to develop knowledge parks in Puttalam and Jaffna respectively. The Ministry of Higher Education will provide facilities and policy guidelines to carry out the projects, he said.
"By constructing up the knowledge parks the government is planning to make Sri Lanka the most cost effective knowledge hub in Asia," he said. The plans are also aimed at attracting 100,000 foreign students by 2020 and control the outflow of Sri Lankan talent to foreign countries.
According to the new educational reforms, adopted by the government, no more public universities will be established but the existing universities will be upgraded to world class level, Navaratne said.