Education boosts any nation's economy. Sri Lankan higher education is competitive. Because only 15% of students who take the General Certificate Examination in Advanced Level (G.C.E A/L) are qualified to enter public universities, every student struggles to get into university. Some ineligible public college students attend private universities, vocational schools, or are migrant students. 15% of students qualify for public colleges, but their abilities and skills may limit their possibilities. These characteristics show that Sri Lanka doesn't assess students' talents, qualifications, and program interests when picking a university. Thus, this study seeks to understand how Sri Lankan students choose universities. The study uses student selection dimensional variables. Hossler (1999), Kotler and Fox (1995), Marketing Mix model for higher education, and Combined Complex Decision model (Holdswoth and Nind, 2005) to quantify student university choice. Convenient sampling selected 139 students from 150. Methods were quantitative and qualitative. Descriptive and inferential statistics examined data to attain study aims. HEM majors lost students due to employability. HEM programs' flexible financing options are the biggest factor in students' undergraduate choices. Female HEM majors are unemployed. According to the findings, Sri Lanka's tertiary education system needs a paradigm shift to properly select university students.
Key words: University choice, Students’ demand, Tertiary education in Sri Lanka, Academic disciplines, Paradigm shift.
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