“Higher education institutes need to offer degrees that are part of the future”

Wednesday, 8th of May 2019

Vice Chancellor and President of University of Westminster emphasizes need to look ahead It is very important for higher education institutes across the world to keep abreast of the latest global trends and provide degrees that are part of the future. This was stated by Dr. Peter Bonfield - Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Westminster (UOW) – UK during a recent visit to Sri Lanka to boost ties with their long-standing local partner Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT). At an event organised to address the media, Dr. Peter Bonfield was joined by Prof. Alex Hughes - Deputy Vice Chancellor (Global) and Stephen Wallis - Senior Academic Coordinator, both of UOW as well as Dr.Gamini Wickramasinghe – Founder and Chairman of the Informatics Group and Naomi Krishnarajah – Dean of IIT.

“In keeping with this objective of bringing courses that focus on global trends, we have introduced two new University of Westminster programmes in Sri Lanka with our local partner IIT. The two programmes - MA Fashion Business Management and MSc Cyber Security and Forensics – are introduced to Sri Lanka for the very first time.Back in London, this fashion course is world-renowned and our students have successfully landed jobs at some of the best fashion houses in the world where they get to work with today's top fashion designers.

When it comes to Sri Lanka, with your rich history in the apparel industry, I am really excited to see how local students will embrace this course and how the IIT and University of Westminster partnership will grow when it comes to exploring opportunities in the fashion industry,” Dr. Bonfield stated. “The other thing we're seeing in the UK is the links between IT/Digital and Creative. So, we started with Fashion and Business course but also with our expertise in IT you can imagine a future where all those elements come together and all sorts of businesses use those type of individuals to help the companies perform better, not just in the UK and Sri Lanka, but across the world,” he added.

The MA in Fashion Business Management programme was launched by the University of Westminster to provide innovative programmes for individuals pursuing careers in the fashion industry locally and internationally. Naomi Krishnarajah – Dean of IIT stated, “This programmewill equip students with strategic decision-making, leadership and problem-solving skills required to become an entrepreneurial and visionary fashion business leader in today's fast-evolving fashion industry. Students will also be able to work closely with fashion industry professionals, role models and mentors. They will receive industry specific, well-grounded, high-quality education and a skill base that will enable them to have a broad understanding of the business.

The course offers an innovative and state-of-the-art fashion business curriculum that focuses on preparing students’ entry into senior roles in business and management within the fashion industry. The curriculum has been specifically designed to train individuals to enhance their skills and become visionaries in their respective industries. The course provides an in-depth knowledge in areas of Supply Chain Management, Strategic Fashion Business Management, Fashion Marketing and Entrepreneurship followed by a Fashion Business Project.” Dr. Bonfield explained further, “Today, you have cyber security issues in every industry. There are really challenging new ways that software and technology are being used.

Unfortunately, they are not always used for the betterment of mankind, which is why we have an increasing number of cyber security issues. So, the challenge is the need for skilled people to address these issues that have spread to virtually every field. The key thing is to focus and identify a few areas IIT and West can really stand out and excel in. We feel cyber security and forensics is definitely one of those areas.” Students following the MSc in Cyber Security and Forensics (2-year, part-time course) will gain insights into the nature of the security threats faced by today’s computer systems, the type of information that is stored on digital devices and how digital evidences can be traced and extracted from them.

The course offers students an opportunity to learn about a variety of cyber security and digital forensic tools. It will also address analysis of professional and ethical issues relating to computer security and forensics, and the development of related professional competencies, such as report writing and presenting evidence in a court of law. Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) was established in 1990 as the first private higher education institute that awards reputed British degrees in the field of ICT and Business. IIT is an award-winning campus offering internal postgraduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Westminster, UK and Robert Gordon University, UK. IIT has played a pivotal role in strengthening the IT and Business sectors in Sri Lanka over the years by producing world-class graduates. These graduates have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs and IT/Business professionals in both local and international corporate and government entities. Since its inception, IIT has produced thousands of graduates who have excelled in hundreds of organizations around the globe.