The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of US$ 145 million to develop new applied science and technology programmes in four Sri Lankan universities. The total cost of this project – which aims to transform the country into a knowledge based economy by 2025 – is 165 million dollars, of which 20 million dollars will be provided by the government.

There exists a mismatch between Sri Lanka’s education system and the skills required in the fields of science, technology and engineering. This can be attributed to various challenges such as a lack of investment, laboratory facilities, researchers and qualified academic staff.

The project proposes to construct faculty buildings that align with green building standards, well equipped laboratories, and spaces that promote research and learning. It will focus on helping the universities develop curricula of international standards, and will also help recruit and train academic staff. R&D will remain the primary focus to propel the nation in the science, technology and engineering fields.