Overview of Postgraduate Degree Programmes in Sri Lanka

The customer concern today is for Quality products and services. Quality education is one such important service demanded today by the customer in the market. Education deals directly with the development of human resources. Postgraduate Degrees conducted in the National University system and the Private Sector Institutions are no exception to this requirement and demands quality, not only by the students, but also, to put it in the broader terms, the total stakeholders. In this context, the Quality Assurance and Accreditation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of the Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka, has taken steps to launch a program initially to assess the quality and accredit the existing postgraduate Degrees conducted by the National University System. The assessment is the performance evaluation of an institution/program and the accreditation is the certification conferred on the basis of such assessment.

A number of National Universities and/ or different entities connected to National Universities conduct Postgraduate Degree programs at different levels. i.e. Postgraduate Diploma level, M. Sc. Level, M. Phil Level, PhD. Level and the institution as a whole (including all the programs conducted) or a single Postgraduate Degree Program conducted by the institute shall seek for quality assessment and accreditation. Thus the unit of accreditation shall be the total institution or the particular Postgraduate Degree program conducted by the institution.

The Aims, Goals and objectives of the assessment of a postgraduate institute/program are as follows:

The fundamental purpose of a Quality Assessment and Accreditation program is to examine and enhance effectiveness and efficiency of the institution/program. It also fulfills the requirement of accountability as a third public concern. Hence the, ultimate goal of a Quality Assessment Program is to examine and enhance an institution’s/ program’s effectiveness. In order to achieve this goal four objectives must be met. They are to

  • Improve teaching and learning
  • Contribute to the personal development of students
  • Ensure institutional improvement and
  • Facilitate accountability

Aspects of Evaluation

1.Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
2.Curriculum Design Content and Review
3.Teaching Learning and Evaluation
4.Research, Consultancy, Extension and Community Contribution
5.Facilities, Equipment and Learning Resources
6.Quality of students, Student Support and Progression
7.Organization, Management, Governance and Administration
8.Healthy Practices

External Peer Review Process:

External Peer Review Process consists of 6 steps as follows:Receipt of the Self Assessment Report (SAR) by the QAAC

  • Constituting the External Peer Review Team by the QAAC
  • On-site visit to the institution/program by the External Peer Review Team for validation of the claims made by the institution/program through SAR
  • Preparation of the Assessment Report by the External Peer Review Team and submission of the same to the QAAC
  • Submission of the Final Assessment Report to the Head of the Institution/program by the QAAC and
  • Overall Judgment and Continuous follow up action there upon taken by both institution/program and the QAA

There will be three options open to the review team in making this judgment.

The external Peer Review Team makes one of following three judgments for each criterion discussed below taking into consideration all strengths, weaknesses and good practices of each aspect:

  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Unsatisfactory

Good: The team will highlight strengths and healthy practices in the aspect

Satisfactory: There will be at least one weakness in the respective aspect discussed

Unsatisfactory: There will be hardly any data to support strengths and good    practices in the respective aspect discussed


Workshop on External Quality Assessments in PG Institutes and Graduate Faculties

Hotel Janaki, Colombo 5