- Breaks new ground with special education loans scheme for postgraduate students undertaking research
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has come forward to provide a stimulus for academic research in Sri Lanka via a ground-breaking collaboration with the University of Moratuwa (UoM), the country’s leading provider of technological higher education.
Sri Lanka’s largest private bank has announced it is partnering with the University to offer education loans with preferential interest rates and other benefits to postgraduate research students.
The first lending institution in the country to specifically support research candidates accepted into UoM’s research programmes, the Bank said it will provide education loans of up to Rs 500,000 with an annual interest rate of 9.5%. The tenure for these loans will be six years, including a three-year grace period.
The Bank’s special loan scheme also offers fee waivers and affordable repayment structures that include an interest-only grace period, to enable this student segment to finance programme fees with peace of mind and focus on research goals without being burdened with loan commitments, the Bank said.
Commenting on the launch of this special loan scheme, Commercial Bank Chief Operating Officer Mr Sanath Manatunge said: “We recognise that the Sri Lankan student research community requires financial backing. With the introduction of this special loan scheme, we hope more students will be encouraged to participate in research that will contribute towards the expansion of the knowledge base in the country and inspire innovation.”
“Research programmes are an integral part of academic activity contributing to the development of any country. They demand unrelenting commitment, determination, and passion from students,” observed Professor Niranjan Gunawardena, Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa. “We are delighted that Commercial Bank is on board to help our students with financial support, the lack of which could be a stumbling block to their aspirations, and by extension, hamper the progress of particular fields of study.”
The University of Moratuwa will promote this scheme to candidates who have been accepted to enrol in its research programmes. Selected research students can apply for education loans under the special scheme from any of Commercial Bank’s branches. Acceptance to the research programmes does not guarantee approval of the facility and applications will be treated in accordance with the standard credit evaluation criteria, the Bank said.
Sri Lanka’s first wholly carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 11 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 931 automated machines in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.