“Paid Degrees”

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.

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7 Responses to “Paid Degrees”

  1. pissu perera says:

    very true. as someone who is in a private university, i had misgivings about starting out as well, because the sri lankan attitude of “i don’t want to pay for my degree” was right on top of my mind, but now that i’m 2 years into the programme, i know that i have to work for my degree as hard as my friends in the local universities do. it irritates me and sometimes makes me downright angry to hear people who have no idea how my degree works tell me that my degree is a paid for as opposed to worked towards. glad someone decided to write about it. expect a lot of (virtual) rocks pelted in your direction.

  2. poojitha says:

    I agree thousand times, good post man

  3. Angel says:

    Great post… it is sad that many of those who are intelligent and capable cannot be accomodated in local universities and as an undergrad at a public university, I see the woefull lack of graduates going into R&D. If someone is able to pay for their higher education, they should have the option to do so, and the option to study in their homeland as well as abroad. Private universities should be regulated though, ideally by themselves. No one has a right to “ban” or deny others the opportunity to learn.

  4. Fly ball says:

    Same here. Thousand times agree. I do not deny most of the free education uni students are brainy. As correctly said most of the should have been ended up in research and development. I think they do not like private universities only because they feel inferior about them selves. Even though they think they are very intelligent and others are foolish , this act shows that they are scared or students passed out of private universities and they cannot stand amongst them confidently in the field. If they really think they are smarter , what they should do is , let the competitiors come and then work out and show their colors. Then we will belive they are the genious. But now what happends is they only scream. No work. So its clear they are just some jelousy set of people who release all their frustration on happy people of the society.

  5. Jack Point says:

    “Entrance to Sri Lankan public universities is highly merit based and only the best get in,”

    I thought that went out of the window with standardisation? It is partially, not wholly merit.

    The degrees offered by the local affiliates of forign universities tend to be variable, I believe the LSE ones offered by Royal Institute and perhaps the technical ones by places like informatics are good but the rest tend to be poor, some quite badly so.

    The same applies to the postgraduate programmes.

  6. Nirmal says:

    Hail!

  7. R says:

    “The reason: we do not have enough space in our universities for everyone who deserves entry.”

    Actually the reason is that there is a higher social status for doctors and engineers in this country.

    “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.”

    Well not exactly. Out of the 2500 odd Nasa scientists, 200 of them are Sri Lankan. You can’t argue with that. Also note that there is no such thing as the top tier in developed countries…

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