‘Opportunity has been missed’ in higher education

The first Budget from the country’s first dedicated Department of Further and Higher Education evoked a mixed reaction, with student leaders claiming it ignored barriers preventing access to college in favour of piecemeal one-off funding.

There was a general welcome for the focus it put on higher education, and some praise for the commitment minister Simon Harris is bringing to the role, but there was also criticism of “missed opportunities”.

The €3.3bn 2021 spend includes €50m to be paid directly to about 200,000 full-time students this year – €250 each – to help soften the Covid-19 financial blow.

Union of Students in Ireland (USI) president Lorna Fitzpatrick welcomed it, but said the Government failed to address the “underlying problem – that students face the highest fees in the EU”.

Other commitments include:

:: Retaining almost 2,300 college places created this year – and adding a further 2,700;

:: Review of

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Education: A reverse journey of reflection on the path we missed | Times Online

By Goolbai Gunasekera


No one can deny Sri Lanka’s education has been on a downslide since the early days of Independence when our country was regarded as the success story of South East Asia. C.W.W. Kananngara, generally regarded as the Father of Free Education, was Minister of Education in the Legislative Council, while we were still under British rule. The Free Education Bill was passed at that time.

Major Eddie Nugawela was Minister of Education under the first National Government and those of us who remember the charming and gentlemanly Minister observe with dismay the deterioration in the quality of persons who have held this important office since then. The downslide began almost from the start.  Sarath Amunugama and Lalith Kotelawela tried to halt it but by then the deterioration was well on its way. There were piecemeal projects of course, but soon there was no checking the outright

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