The University of Peradeniya was looking to become an international campus that enriches the experience of foreign students, and was engaged in a digital transformation, Vice Chancellor Professor M D Lamawansa said. He said there was a notable increase in the presence of foreign students on the campus, underscoring its growing appeal internationally. The Post Graduate Institute of Science and the Faculty of Management have been promoting and bringing in foreign students. “This complements the existing longstanding project of the Faculty of Medicine to offer academic courses to foreign students both on full-time and an elective basis,” the VC said at the inauguration of the ‘International Week’ chaired by chief guest Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Sri Lanka Bonnie Horbach.
Professor Lamawansa added that despite challenges, the University had remained resolute in sustaining international relations over the past year, and 224 foreign visits related to scholarly work has been undertaken in training programmes, conferences, workshops, contributing both learners and resource persons. Over 200 international experts and scholars visited the University, while various country missions had visited on multiple occasions. He said 2023 marked the establishment of over 25 agreements and Memorandum of Understanding with foreign entities.
“In addition, partnerships with Erasmus, JICA, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the United States have yielded robust benefits.” “Engagements with global alumni have been useful in particular Dr Siva’s impactful work on soya bean research and community engagement in agriculture with the University of Illinois, USA.” Professor Lamawansa said that he is looking forward to 2024 as a year of significant advancement, marked by an ambitious project to modernise and expand the university.
“The government’s commitment to provide funding in 2024 signals the commencement this transformation journey.” The Deputy High Commissioner of India was the guest of honour. The Ambassador of Cuba to Sri Lanka Andrés Marcelo Garrido, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Russia Dr Janitha Liyange, First Secretary to the Russian Embassy Maria Popova, and representatives of Chinese Academy of Sciences, JICA, and Tomorrow Technology, Deputy VC Professor Terrence Mudajith, and Deputy Librarian Dr Champa Alahakoon were present on the occassion. - L B Senaratne