Priyanka Jayawardena

Expanding Tertiary Education Critical to Sri Lanka’s ‘Knowledge Hub’ Aspirations

Each year 100,000 qualified students have to abandon their ambitions to enter university. Less than 4% of 20-24 year olds in Sri Lanka are enrolled in a university. As Sri Lanka’s aims to grow as a knowledge-based economy and become a ‘Knowledge Hub’ for the region, these numbers are concerning. Meanwhile, the debate on permitting private universities continues apace. A Bill to permit private universities was about to be presented by the government to Parliament, but was subsequently shelved, under pressure from certain student and teacher groups. In this article, Priyanka Jayawardena presents the key arguments put forward and opens them out for wider debate.

Sri Lanka Grapples with Child Malnutrition despite Major Improvements in the Health Sector

Despite remarkable achievements in the health sector, malnutrition has been a persistent health challenge in Sri Lanka. More than 1 in 5 under-five year olds are underweight in the country. To break the vicious cycle of malnutrition in the country, Sri Lanka needs to go beyond health and look closer at the deep-rooted socio-economic factors which are transmitted from generation to generation in lower socio-economic groups.

How do demographic changes affect economic growth in Sri Lanka?

By Priyanka Jayawardena, Research Officer, IPS Sri Lanka’s demography has come to a turning point where its prime working age population (aged 25-54) is shrinking and ageing simultaneously. This will impact heavily on the labour market and has the potential …