Educational Institutes in Sri Lanka can be categorized as government schools, international schools, national universities, technical training institutes, degree/ diploma or certificate granting institutes affiliated to foreign universities, and local institutes that grant degree or equivalent qualifications.
Sri Lankan government provides free education, scholarships for disadvantaged students, mid-day meals, free textbooks, free uniforms, and subsidized transport. This enabled Sri Lanka to achieve an adult literacy rate of 92.5%. Sri Lanka was an early achiever in terms of the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education, having reached 98% primary enrollment.
The government free education system in Sri Lanka consists of several institutes:
(1) Schools that offer primary education (grades 1−5) and junior secondary education (grades 6−11) up to O/L examination
(2) Schools that offer senior secondary education (grades 12−13) up to A/L examination
(3) National Universities
(4) Technical education and vocational training (TEVT).
Apart from these Government schools, there are private schools, popularly known as International Schools, where either British or USA systems are followed or English medium education is offered for local syllabus.
Free University education is open to students successfully obtaining highest Z-score values at the competitive advanced level (A Level) examination. There are 15 state-run National Universities.
Apart from this, there are degree-granting institutions that deliver foreign university degrees, as well as education providers for degree/ diploma or equivalent qualifications (accounting, management, information technology, etc.). Popular institutes in this category include SLIIT, NIBM, CIMA, Law college etc.
Government National Universities also offer fee-levying external degrees, online degrees and post-graduate degrees (such as MBA. MSc and PhD’s). Popular external degrees include BIT from University of Colombo and BSc Business Management from University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Government affiliated institutes such as Post-graduate Institute of Management (University of Sri Jayewardeneprua), Post-graduate Institute of Agriculture (University of Peradeniya) also offer post-graduate programs.