By Shehana Dain
Kaplan Higher Education and Kaplan Professional Education, a part of Kaplan Inc., the world’s largest diversified education company, is entering the Sri Lankan market to provide postgraduate education in financial services through a range of short courses and degree qualifications. The offering will be through an interactive online portal. Kaplan currently educates more than a million students annually across 30 countries, with Kaplan Higher and Kaplan Professional Education being the leading providers of financial services education in Australia. This is the first time Kaplan Higher education is entering South Asia, however it’s not a completely new venture into Sri Lanka as CIMA professionals are quite familiar with Kaplan study material. In Sri Lanka Kaplan’s courses will be offered through FinServices Education Ltd., which is an investment by Ataraxia Capital Partners. Ataraxia Capital Investments Head of Investments Sharad Sri emphasised: “This is a unique offering which allows students to study in their own space in their own pace and at their own time and subjects of their own thinking, this is quite radical.” Being primarily an online qualification, this caters to the busy professionals in the working community, especially in the financial space. Sharad pointed out: “In fact more than 19.5% of all Sri Lankans are wired and are accessing the internet in a daily basis this is growing at 10% per annum so in that context it makes sense that education is delivered in an online forum which addresses and meet the needs of the students.” As this industry continues to grow with new younger professionals, the biggest challenge they face while they leave their educational qualifications is they’re not “job ready”. This program will not only ensure job readiness, but will also make sure the industry is well aware of the good work you’re learning. Kaplan Higher Education Vice President Mike Evans stated: “We have become the benchmark for education in financial services in Australia, built upon our links to professionals and the course content we deliver are written by practitioners in the field.” He emphasised that Kaplan is UGC approved, making the post graduate education offered by them compatible to the Sri Lankan educational scope. The course provides academic rigour and practical relevance catering to the needs of the financial sector. Kaplan Higher Education Managing Director David Newton stressed he takes the tag line ‘we build futures, one success story at time’ very seriously, assuring the best quality to all professionals undertaking the course. KPMG Principal Shiluka Goonewardane noted: “If we are to be a financial hub, professionals of excellent calibre are a must. Companies today spend a considerable amount of time and money training youngsters who are not job ready, hence this qualification will embark on a positive journey to the industry.” The course providers will use a learning management system called Moodle, a popular e-learning platform, which allows students to participate in online video conferences, provides access to e-books and also features a discussion forum where students can ask questions and clear doubts. The course differs from the many post graduate courses offered in Sri Lanka by providing extra training and understanding of the market, providing a niche offering – technical analysis courses which would assist the stock broking community, and also a financial planning course, filling the void for financial planners in Sri Lanka.