List of universities in Sri Lanka

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This is a list of higher education institutions in Sri Lanka.


The first institution of modern higher education in the island was established in 1921 as the University College Ceylon; even though there several institutions of vocational education before that. In 1942 the first university was established as the University of Ceylon with several campuses island wide, Colombo (established 1942), Peradeniya (established 1949), Vidyodaya (established 1959), Vidyalankara (established 1959) and Katubedda (established 1972). It was dissolved in 1972 to establish the University of Sri Lanka. Jaffna campus was added to the university in 1974. With the promulgation of the Universities Act. No 16 of 1978, state university status was restored to the 6 separate campuses. University Grants Commission (UGC) was also created to plan and coordinate the state university education. After that, a number of state universities have been created. All these state universities are registered under the University Grants Commission, but a few come under the auspices of ministries other than the Ministry of Higher Education, in which the UGC is a part of.

Most of the state universities depend on funds given by the University Grants Commission, as it is their primary and sometimes only source of funding. Therefore the UGC has a direct control over these universities and administer the undergraduate intake. The UGC is subordinate to the Ministry of Higher Education.

A few other public and private institutes exist which function interdependently. Government has a stake in some of these institutions. The most prominent, is the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), which formally came under the Ministry of Science & Technology.[1] The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University was a similar institute but has since been classed as a state university, however under the control of the Ministry of Defense.

Current situation[edit]

In Sri Lanka, the university education is strictly controlled by the government until recently. All the degree-granting universities and most degree-granting institutes in are still government-owned or -funded. However autonomous in theory, only a very few institutes are truly autonomous.Higher Education Ministry's attempt is to enter 2000 best universities of the world but according to the World University Ranking Sri Lankan universities are still far behind the target. [2]

These higher education institutions can be classified under 4 categories. They are:

  • Public institutes contorted by the University Grants Commission
  • Public institutes that are not contorted by the UGC
  • Private non profit institutes
  • Private institutes

Public UGC institutes[edit]

15 state universities and 3 campuses come directly under the authority of University Grants Commission. They are:

Lanka University News

Public non UGC institutes[edit]

Ministry of Education
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training

  • Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, Colombo
  • National Institute of Education
  • National Institute of Social Development (Established under the NISD Act, No. 41 of 1992)[3]
  • National Institute of Business Management (Established under the NIBM Act, No. 23 of 1976)[4]
  • Institute of Surveying and Mapping (Established under the Act No. 21 of 1969)
  • Institute of Human Resource Advancement (University of Colombo)
  • Institute for Agro-Technology and Rural Sciences, Hambantota (University of Colombo)
  • Ocean University of Sri Lanka (Established under the Act No. 36 of 1999)

Private non-profit institutions[edit]

Operating as non-profit institutions, these award their own degrees with consent of the UGC.

Private institutes[edit]

These institutes are affiliates of foreign institutes, granting degrees from these institutes.

Research institutes[edit]

Professional charters[edit]

These charter award professional qualification which are recognized as an entry qualification for postgraduate degrees.

Current status of University Rankings[edit]

The following rankings are based on of 2014 Sri Lanka University Ranking and Higher Education Institute Ranking

Sri Lanka Ranking World Rank University
01 2146 University of Colombo
02 2479 University of Peradeniya
03 2497 University of Moratuwa
04 3091 University of Sri Jayawardenapura
05 3194 University of Kelaniya
06 3483 University of Ruhuna
07 5989 Open University of Sri Lanka
08 7225 University of Jaffna
09 8266 Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology
10 8324 South Eastern University of Sri Lanka
11 E8995 Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
12 10099 Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration of Colombo
13 10799 Sabaragamuwa University
14 11154 Eastern University
15 11599 National Institute of Education Sri Lanka
16 11793 Wayamba University of Sri Lanka
17 12310 General Sir John Kothalawala Defence University
18 12794 Industrial Technology Institute
19 13953 Institute of Fundamental Studies Sri Lanka
20 14151 Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology Sri Lanka
21 14308 National Institute of Business Management
22 14725 Uva Wellassa University
23 14740 Informatics Institute of Technology Sri Lanka
24 15245 South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Malabe
25 15352 Postgraduate Institute of Sciences
26 15529 Arthur C Clarke Institute of Modern Technologies
27 15632 Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
28 15667 Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College
29 15691 University of the Visual & Performing Arts
30 15718 Sri Lanka Institute of Architects
31 16870 Buddhist and Pali University
32 17294 Australian College of Business and Technology
33 17654 Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education
34 17677 University of Vocational Technology Ratmalana
35 18481 National Institute of Social Development
36 18553 ANC Education
37 18578 BMS Business Management School
38 18586 Aquinas University College Colombo
39 18714 American College of Higher Education
40 19426 Institute of Engineering Technology
41 19921 Sri Lanka Press Institute
42 20300 Imperial Institute of Higher Education
43 20478 Royal Institute of Colombo
44 20620 Ocean University of Sri Lanka
45 21471 Hardy University College Ampara
46 21479 Victoria Higher Education Campus
47 21912 Buddhasravaka Bhiksu University

See also[edit]