“The Government is collaborating with the Californian university system to obtain assistance to modernise agriculture in Sri Lanka and to set up a new agrotechnology university,” said President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the 70th-anniversary celebration of the United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission Programme held in Colombo this week. The President said the new agro-technology university will be combined with the Tea Research Institute (TRI), among others, to work with some American institutions on how to upgrade research in Sri Lanka. He said Fulbright alumni such as Prof. Pradeepa Bandaranayake, Professor in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and Director at the Peradeniya University’s Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, are vital assets in modernising the country’s agriculture sector and teaching modern agriculture methods.
President Wickremesinghe also said the Government was focusing on improving English language education within the next ten years. For this plan, Sri Lanka hoped to obtain assistance for training teachers and trainers from their US counterparts. “We have had about 3000 scholars from Sri Lanka and America who typified the exchange of knowledge and professional development that has benefitted both nations, and they have made a big impression on Sri Lanka. They have enriched our society and made our culture so much more vibrant,” the President said about the Fulbright exchange programme. Currently, the Fulbright programme in Sri Lanka is fully funded by the US government and enables young scholars to pursue graduate degree programmes with scholarship support, scholars and professionals to teach and conduct research and teachers to get valuable training.-NF