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Sri Lanka: Plan for Aid to University Students to Be Developed

(Apr. 1, 2011) Sri Lanka's Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake, recently proposed a new law, the Human Capital Development Finance Act. The plan has been approved by the Cabinet, and the drafting process will begin soon.

The purpose of the legislation is to provide aid in the form of bank loans to underprivileged university students. At present, poor students receive financial aid directly from the universities they attend or through one special fund, the Mahapola Scholarship Fund, but the amount they can receive may not be sufficient to meet their costs. Banks have not been willing to extend loans for higher education to the extent needed. (New Measure to Provide Financial Aid for Needy Sri Lankan University Students, COLOMBO PAGE (Apr. 1, 2011).)

The Minister's proposal would provide loans from banks to low-income students; the loans would be repaid by the students after graduation, when presumably they will have salaried employment. (Id.)