Some Sri Lankan public university graduates are in the habit of calling the qualifications of private university graduates “paid degrees”. Private university graduates in all fairness should turn around and call such people “beggars”. Entrance to Sri Lankan public universities is highly merit based and only the best get in, especially in the technical and scientific disciplines. Some of these highly intelligent students tend to suffer from inferiority complexes which turn into ‘superiority complexes’ as they begin to see themselves as the best-of-the-best and the only ones who are capable of or DESERVING of a university degree.
A tragedy of our system is that graduates who are meant to go into research and development end up being doctors and engineers. Graduates who were meant to become doctors and engineers end up as technicians or in various middle management/desk jobs. The reason: we do not have enough space in our universities for everyone who deserves entry. So we raise the bar above international standards. We get the best few but we do not have research or development. So they treat patients and work with equipment. The segment of the Sri Lankan population with an IQ sufficient for medicine or engineering ends up further below*. If some of these can afford to pay for their higher education, by all means allow them to do so.
The standards in private institutions are not necessarily too lax (not counting fraudulent establishments). The standards in public ones are too tight. Public university graduates have no right to resent somebody who has to work less hard to get his degree. The additional hard work the public university graduate has to put in is compensation for his inability to pay for what he receives.
Student union demands to regulate (or ban altogether) private universities should not be entertained in any form. A person who not only takes his gifted education for granted but also wants to deny others the opportunity to learn should NEVER be accepted into a university no matter how intelligent he is. An intelligent fool is a lot more dangerous than a stupid one.
* One of the reasons why third world professionals aboard often make their western counterparts look incompetent: we are pitting our top tier against their middle tier. Many of THEIR best people tend to be in R & D.