Sector Overview

Higher Education is considered a major driver of economic development in Sri Lanka. In the present context, the role of Higher Education in the country is considered most critical, given that Sri Lanka’s future in the global knowledge economy depends on the country’s human capital.

As Sri Lanka is geared to advance as a fast growing middle income country, it is increasingly apparent that a higher education system producing skilled, hardworking and enterprising graduates is vital. The country also needs the research and innovation capacity to support dynamic economic development. Against this background, Sri Lanka aims to transform into a preferred destination for investments in Higher Education, thereby positioning itself as a regional center of excellence for learning and innovation. To this end, Sri Lanka has targeted achievement of excellence in higher education by 2020, and to become the most preferred country for higher education in the Asian subcontinent. The government has already commenced the formulation of necessary legislation to regulate private sector higher education institutes.

The state university sector comprises 15 Universities, 8 Post Graduate Institutes and 10 other Degree Granting Universities/Institutions. The capacity of the state university system is limited and not more than 17% of the 150,000 students who qualify for university education gain admissions to these Universities. While the state university systems remain the primary provider of university education, the establishment of private universities will encourage the government to attract approximately 50,000 foreign students to Sri Lanka. These universities are also expected to absorb, on average up to 12,000 Sri Lankan students recorded as leaving the country for higher education, thereby generating considerable foreign exchange savings as well as the anticipated earnings.

Sub Sectors

  • Branch campuses of leading Foreign Universities
  • Higher Educational Institutes
  • Hospitality / Tourism / Hotel Management
  • Design Development
  • Engineering
  • Maritime Training


Whom to Contact

Mr. Gamini Jayathillake
Director (Head of Knowledge ser.)
Tel: +94 11 2427090/+94112346341

Fax: +94 11 2422407


Mrs.Renuka Dassanayake
Deputy Director
Tel : +94 11 2386953 /

+94 11 2427240

Mr. Sujeewa Subasinghe
Assistant Director
Tel : +94 112543040 / +94 11 2427248


* The sector team is located at 24th Floor, West Tower, World Trade Centre, Colombo 1


Significant investments:

  • Raffles Education Corporation Ltd
  • Auston Institute of Management (PVt) Ltd
  • Nawaloka Group
  • Ceylinco Group
  • Access group


Relevant Agencies / Organizations

Line Agencies Contacts


Central Environmental Authority (CEA)
104, Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha,
Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94 11 2872359
Fax: +94 11 2872608
Ministry of Higher Education & Highways
18, Ward Place, Colombo 7,
Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94 11 2694486,2697133,2697721,2691378
Fax: +94 11 2697239
Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)
Town Hall, Colombo 07.
Tel: +94 11 2684291, 2684290
Fax: +94 11 2684290
Sri Lanka Customs
40, Main Street,
Colombo 11, Sri Lanka.
Tele: +94 11 2445147
Fax: +94 11 2446364
Department of Immigration and Emigration
41, Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha, Colombo 10,
Sri Lanka
Tel: 94-11-5329000 Hunting Line
Fax: 94-11-2674621
Web Site:


Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission (TVEC)
‘Nipunatha Piyasa’, 354/2
Elvitigala Mawatha, Narahenpita
Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 11 5849291
Fax: +94 11 2555007

Department of Inland Revenue
81, Sir Chiththampalam A. Gardinar Mawatha,
Colombo 02, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94 113009355, 3009257
FAX: +94 11 2337777
Urban Development Authority (UDA)
6th & 7th Floor, Sethsiripaya,
Battaramulla, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94 11 2875916
Fax: +94 11 2873637

Ministry of Defence (MOD)
15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha,
Colombo 03.
Tel: + 94 11 2430860/69
Fax: + 94 11 2441481