President Mohamed Nasheed said special measures are needed to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for tertiary education by 40 percent over the next five years.
The GER shows the levels of enrolment for primary, secondary and tertiary education.
President Nasheed said to increase the GER for tertiary education, reforms in the school system were needed, as well as an increase in secondary education. He said three out of four students took the commerce stream, resulting in limited opportunities for employment and higher education.
President Nasheed said passing the Maldives National University Bill was of utmost importance, as well as transferring research work from government offices to the national university.
The president added that it is crucial to start medicine courses in the Maldives, as 340 doctors are needed to provide quality healthcare. He said the government would provide loans for higher education outside the country, including 50 student loans for nursing and medicine courses.
President Nasheed said starting degree courses in areas such as architecture, quantitative surveying and town planning also needed to be started.
He noted that capacity building in the judiciary was another important area.