From the rationale for a university and for the creation of the Faculty of Law outlined before, it is clear that university education is unique, and is different from education at a tutory or similar educational institution.
The distinct role of a university and its emphasis on community and the acquisition of a habit of mind, make attendance at lectures, discussions and tutorials and participation in the life of the university community essential. There can be no distance education students in a traditional university system. Full time, active and engaged undergraduates are essential for a university.
Therefore, the Faculty of Law has an attendance requirement which is enforced strictly: the Faculty requires 70% attendance at lectures and tutorials etc. Undergraduates shall register their attendance by signing the attendance list at each lecture, tutorial, discussion, etc. Each undergraduate is required to get his or her attendance certified by each lecturer for each subject and finally by the respective Heads of the Departments before he or she submits the application form at the Examination Branch in College House.
Please note that if your registered attendance is below 70% but 60% or above the eligibility should be determined by the relevant Head of Department. Likewise, if the attendance of a student is below 60%, but 50% or above it is for Dean of the Faculty to determine on the eligibility.
In the case where the student’s attendance is below 50%, then it will be submitted to the Special Committee of the Faculty Board for a decision on the eligibility of the student to sit for coming year-end examination. The Committee will consist of the Dean, all Heads of Departments and the relevant subject teacher.
There is a more practical consideration for compulsory attendance. Thousands of students, supported by their parents and families, invest considerable time and money to sit university entrance Examinations and qualify for admission. Only a small fraction of those who qualify for admission is successful in obtaining a place in the university. Competition for admission to the Faculty of Law is particularly intense.
In such a context, a person who obtains a place in the Faculty of Law should be mindful of the fact that he or she is in effect depriving other students with similar marks from selecting a place in the Faculty. It is, therefore, unethical and unfair for an undergraduate selected to the Faculty to occupy such a sought after place and not participate as a full time undergraduate. The ‘Mahapola’ scholarship scheme and other undergraduate bursary and loan schemes are specially designed to alleviate the economic pressures of being full time undergraduates.