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University of Vavuniya formally opened by President Rajapaksa

Friday, 11th of February 2022 Views - 363

The University of Vavuniya, with a centre for co-existence, was declared open by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday making it the 17th national university in the country. The university has a capacity of enlisting around 1000 students at each intake. It is also the first university in the Vanni district. University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Sampath Amaratunge said one of the special features at the university will be the centre for co-existence aimed at promoting ethnic harmony. The centre will be under former Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Vasanthy Arasaratnam.

She will be the director of the centre. The centre will be able to obtain UN funding as well and can focus on research for reconciliation instead of developing only cultural programmes, she said. Similar centres will also be set up in other universities. Prof. Amaratunge said Rs three billion was invested in the project, and the university will have four faculties initially, with hope for expanding. The faculties of Business Studies, Technology Studies, Environmental Science and Health Science will be launched initially. The University of Vavuniya was first established as a Northern Province Affiliated University College in 1991 and subsequently the Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna was established on April 1, 1997 with two faculties, namely the Faculty of Applied Science and the Faculty of Business Studies.

In 2020, the Faculty of Technological Studies was also established. All three faculties offer 12 degree programmes of three and four year duration at present. The Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna was elevated to a separate state university and established as the University of Vavuniya, Sri Lanka 2021. Accordingly, the University of Vavuniya became the 17th state university in Sri Lanka ef fective from August 1, 2021. The University of Vavuniya proposes to increase the student intake through introducing new study programmes along with the establishment of the proposed faculties: Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Aquaculture, Fisheries and Marine Studies, Facul ty of Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainable Energy Studies, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Media and Communication Studies, and Faculty of Built Environment. The permanent site of the University of Vavuniya is located about ten km away from Vavuniya town along the Vavuniya-Mannar Road at Sopalapuliyankulam in Pampaimadu. The university owns 195 acres of land, and it is a residential university. The university had established a centre for co-existence with the aim to build a greater network and bonds among students and communities through interfaith dialogue and engagement.