The University Grants Commission (UGC) was established under the Universities Act. No. 16 of 1978, and is the Apex body of the University System in Sri Lanka. The functions of the UGC are to allocate funds to the universities and university institutes, serve as the central admission agency for undergraduate studies in universities, planning and monitoring of academic activities of the university system in order to maintain academic standards and implement national policies in respect of university education in Sri Lanka.
There are 12 National Universities and 2 Institutes under the UGC and 3 Universities under the Ministry of Education and the UGC selects students for admission to undergraduate courses in these 12 universities and 2 institutes.
The UGC selects students for admission to undergraduate courses.In addition to admission of students with local qualifications, special provision has been made for admission of a limited number of students with foreign qualifications also to follow undergraduate courses of study leading to bachelor’s degrees.
Courses of Study, and the Number of students that can be accommodated in Universities under each course of study, the subject combinations available in each University under different courses of study, and the minimum marks required for admission to various courses in respect of each administrative district could be varied.
The ‘z-score’ technique is used to rank students in each stream/ discipline. This is a statistical method which brings marks of different subjects to a common and comparable standard. Once the raw marks are converted to Z-score using this technique it is possible to use either the aggregates or the averages to rank the students in each stream irrespective of the nature of subjects/ syllabi/ number of subjects.
The Z-score method is an accepted scheme for subject - wise standardization.
Further details can be obtained from Additional Secretary /Admissions, University Grants Commission, while handbook for students are available at the UGC.
It is a common practice in many countries to reserve a few places for special categories of students such as those who have excelled in sports, arts and culture; blind and disabled; personnel of armed forces; adult candidates and foreign students. Only a very small number is admitted on special grounds specified above. The special categories of candidates who qualify for special admission to universities in Sri Lanka are:
Applicants under this special provision are required to submit Medical Certificates acceptable to the UGC in proof of their physical disability. For the purpose of this section, physical disability shall mean a permanent physical impairment, which has affected normal life. A limited number of blind students (who sat the G.C.E (A/L) Examination using the Braille system) to courses in Arts and physically disabled students (who are medically certified as disabled) to courses in Arts, Commerce, Biological and Physical Sciences are selected. Candidates who satisfy the minimum requirements for university admission and the appropriate subject pre¬requisites for the relevant course of study are considered under this special provision.
Under this special provision, up to 0.5% of the places in each course of study has been reserved for candidates who have obtained only 1st, 2nd or 3rd places at national level and/or achievements at international levels in such fields as sports, cultural activities such as dancing, painting, music and literature, scouting and cadetting, social work and other extra curricular activities in and after 2001 but have failed to gain admission under the normal intake because of the shortfall of a few marks. Candidates should have satisfied the minimum requirements and subject pre-requisites for admission to a particular course of study specified in the Students’ Handbook. Candidates who are eligible under this scheme are required to produce documentary evidence with regard to their achievements at the interview.
Under this special provision, up to 0.5 percent of the total number of places in Medicine, Dental Surgery and Engineering (MPR) is reserved for the personnel enlisted in the Armed Forces, Police Service and the Special Task Force serving in operational areas. Candidates who wish to apply under this provision should have satisfied the minimum requirements for admission and submit their applications to the Secretary of Defence, through the Commander of the Service concerned. UGC will make the selections based on the average Z Score of the candidates. The candidates should not send applications direct to the UGC.
Under this special provision, up to 0.5 percent of the places available in each course of study have been allocated to Sri Lankan students who have obtained qualifications abroad and foreign students. Accordingly, candidates who have foreign qualifications equivalent to G.C.E (A/L) Examination of Sri Lanka are eligible to apply. They should apply in a special form obtainable from the UGC.
Teachers who have passed the General Arts Qualifying (External) Examination in or after 2000 having offered English as one of the subjects and teachers who have passed the General Science Qualifying (External) Examination in or after 2000 with five years service and not enrolled in any Teacher Training College / College of Education at the time of selection: and in the case of Biological Science or Physical Science, have offered for the G.C.E (A/L) Examination or for the General Science Qualifying (External) Examination such subjects as would enable them to be selected for a course available in a university are eligible to apply for universities.