50th anniversary falls on June 17:
Kelaniya University unique in variety of subjects it offers
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sarath Amunugama
The role of a University is not only about gathering knowledge alone,
but also as a whole evolving the system to produce more intelligent and
skilful human beings for an intellectual world. Accordingly, humanity as
a whole and Sri Lanka particularly has become conscious of the era we
live in as the age of information or the age of knowledge. Thus, human
beings subjected to ignorance will definitely be freed through knowledge
gained through a sense of wholeness and richness of knowledge exploring
the outer world.
Accordingly, the University of Kelaniya, approached a long felt need
of imparting cognitive, emotional and spiritual dimensions of
intelligence to Sri Lankan students in 1959. Graduates produced by
Kelaniya, being cognitive and analytical in thinking have shown their
skills in Sri Lanka and equally well in foreign countries. University of
Kelaniya which supplies food for intelligence, commemorates its 50th
anniversary on June 17, 2009.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sarath Amunugama expressed his views at the
anniversary celebrations of the University of Kelaniya; that it would
never dissociate its origin from that prestigious education destination,
Vidyalankara Pirivena, but render a prominent place in its all the
activities and march forward.
Founded in 1875, by Ven. Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Thera, Vidyalankara
Pirivena gave due place to language, religion and literature at a time
of their degradation. Intellectuals like Ven. Ratmalane Sri Dharmarama
Thera, Don Baron Jayathilake, Mudaliar Palis Fernando Wimalagunawardena,
Nicholas Artigala were equipped with knowledge and aptitude as products
Therefore, the fame of Vidyalankara is echoed not only in Sri Lanka
but also in foreign countries. Vidyalankara Pirivena was renowned for
freedom of thinking and scholarship, as a result of which intellectuals
were produced for two centuries, while many intellectuals from China,
Thailand were trained by the Vidyalankara Pirivena.
Faculty of Science
Founded in 1959, Kelaniya University stands remarkably outstanding
for the service it renders to Sri Lankan students. Over 8,000
undergraduates are studying on campus within its five faculties namely
Social Sciences, Humanities, Science, Commerce and Management, Medical
and 45 departments while 5,400 students are reading for their
postgraduate degrees in the faculty of graduate studies. More than
40,000 students are registered for their undergraduate degrees at the
Centre for Open and Distance Learning (external degree programs) in the
University of Kelaniya.
University of Kelaniya stands much above other universities where it
operates a unique calendar of studies except for the Medical Faculty.
After having established the course unit system, an inter-faculty
curriculum came into effect, which has broadened opportunities where a
student from Social Sciences Faculty is encouraged to offer course units
in other faculties of Science or Commerce and Management as well.
Then, they can excel in a variety of fields which will make it easy
for them to gain employment. A "Shasthriya" education too is added to
students while enhancing their communication and IT skills.
The Vice Chancellor explained that the aim of studies, is to deliver
a higher-learning opportunity while moulding graduates well aware of
world's situation to face the future by attending Vidyalankara
tradition. University of Kelaniya is distinctive for classical
education, delivered in Pali, Sanskrit and in Sinhala.
Eight foreign languages are being taught by both local and foreign
tutors. Together with the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist
Studies in Colombo, the University of Kelaniya excels in religious
studies in Pali Buddhism and Christian studies.
Industrial Management, Environmental Studies and Microbiology courses
are unique to the University of Kelaniya while Library and Information
Sciences can be offered in undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma level
studies in the Social Sciences Faculty. Moreover, Peace and Conflict
Resolution and Sports Science and Management courses too are available.
In recent years, many improvements are made in the Faculty of
Medicine, in which a Speech Therapy course is being conducted. A
Haemophilia and Thalassaemia Paediatric unit and a Molecular Biology
Investigation Unit were also inaugurated.
Two Postgraduate Institutes namely Pali and Buddhist Studies and the
Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology are attached to the university
while the Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute, functions under
the University of Kelaniya, a bachelor's degree in Naval studies
conducted by the Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee, Postgraduate
Diploma in Defence Management conducted by Sri Lanka Air Force, Bachelor
of Science degree in Aviation conducted by Air Force Academy of China
Bay, Trincomalee, Master of Defence degree conducted by Army Command and
Staff College, Sapugaskanda have been accredited to University of
The Chancellor explained that giving accredition to studies related
to forces will give them a value addition to the service they render.
Hence, University of Kelaniya is dedicated to its duty by the future
generation and the entire population. Prof. Sarath Amunugama explained
that commemoration of 50th anniversary will be commencing from 31st
December 2008 and will continue many more activities throughout the year
2009. Pix. Vipula Amarasinghe