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, 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 Head of Department before he or she will be permitted to sit the year-end examinations. Those whose attendance is poor are reported to the Examination Branch and will not be permitted to sit the examinations.
There is a more practical consideration for compulsory attendance. Thousands of students and 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 designed to alleviate the economic pressures of being a full time undergraduate.