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University of Kelaniya Crest
|Motto||Sinhalese: පඤ්ඤාය පරිසුජ්ඣති (Pannaya Parisujjhati)|
Motto in English
|Self-purification is by insight|
|Established||1875 Vidyalankara Pirivena
1959 Vidyalankara University
|Chancellor||Ven. Welamitiyawe Dharmakirthi Sri Kusala Dhamma Thero|
|Vice-Chancellor||Prof. Semasinghe Dissanayake|
|771 academic, 637 non-academic|
|Location||Kelaniya, Sri Lanka|
|Affiliations||University Grants Commission (Sri Lanka),
Association of Commonwealth Universities,
International Association of Universities,
Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability
The University of Kelaniya (Sinhalese: කැළණිය විශ්වවිද්යාලය, Tamil: களனி பல்கலைக்கழகம்) is a state university of Sri Lanka. Just outside the municipal limits of Colombo, in the city of Kelaniya, the university has two major campuses, seven locations, six faculties and four institutions.
With the establishment of modern universities in Sri Lanka in the 1940s and 1950s, the Vidyalankara Pirivena became the Vidyalankara University in 1959, later the Vidyalankara Campus of the University of Ceylon in 1972, and, ultimately, the University of Kelaniya in 1978.
The University of Kelaniya has pioneered a number of new developments in higher education. It was one of the first universities to begin teaching science in Sinhala and the first to restructure the traditional Arts Faculty into three faculties: Humanities, Social Sciences, and Commerce and Management.
It has several departments not generally found in the Sri Lankan University system and some Kelaniya innovations have been adopted subsequently by other universities. These include the Departments of Industrial Management and Microbiology in the Faculty of Science; Departments of Linguistics, Fine Arts, Modern Languages and Hindi in the Faculty of Humanities; and Mass Communication and Library and Information Sciences in the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The coat of arms of the University of Kelaniya is circular and consists of three concentric bands, the outermost of which contains the name of the University in Sinhala and English. The motto of the institution, "Pannaya Parisujjhati" ("Self-purification is by insight"), is a quotation from the Alavaka-sutta of the Samyutta Nikaya, given in Sinhala characters in the same band. The middle band containing a creeper design encloses the innermost, which shows a full-blown lotus, signifying purity. These two designs are reminiscent of those occurring in the well-known moonstones at Anuradhapura.
The Faculty of Science started functioning in October 1967 with Prof. Charles Dahanayake as the Dean of Science. The intake of the first batch of students was 57. Formal approval for the Faculty was given by the Minister of Education in 1968.
The faculty was housed in the main building known as the “Science Block”. Due to the continued increase in the student intake from year to year, a new lecture theatre complex and an auditorium were constructed in 1992, which enabled the intake of students to be increased to 450 in 2003. A new laboratory complex for the Chemistry Department and three buildings for the Departments for Industrial Management, Microbiology and Zoology have now been completed.
The faculty was the first among the Sri Lankan universities to initiate the changeover from the traditional three subject (General) degree with end of year examinations to a more flexible course unit system, i.e., a modularized credit-based system in a two-semester academic year with the end of semester examinations. It offers a variety of course pathways designed to provide flexibility in the choice of subjects. Under this system students have the option of reading for a traditional three subject degree or for a degree consisting of two principal subjects and a selection of course units drawn from other subject areas. The B.Sc. (Special) degree courses, begun in 1974, adopted the course unit system in 1986.
The faculty consists of eight departments.
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Kelaniya is on a 35-acre (140,000 m2) campus at Ragama. It is one of eight medical schools in Sri Lanka. The faculty began classes with the admission of 120 students in September 1991 after the government, in 1989, nationalised the North Colombo Medical College (NCMC), the first privately funded medical school in Sri Lanka established in 1980. The first batch of students, of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya completed their five-year course and graduated MBBS in September 1996. Prof. Carlo Fonseka was the first dean of the faculty. Subsequent deans were Prof. Janaka de Silva and Prof. Rajitha Wickremasinghe. The current dean is Prof. Nilanthi de Silva.
The faculty now has over 1,000 medical students. This number includes international students, mainly from other South Asian countries, who have been admitted on a fee-levying basis. The faculty also welcomes students for elective appointments. Students from medical schools in Europe, USA and Australia have spent their elective periods with the university. In addition to the MBBS course, it conducts a BSc programme in speech and hearing sciences.
There is a permanent academic staff of over 120 and in addition 40 temporary academic staff and over 60 visiting staff that includes consultants who are based in the affiliated teaching hospitals.
The Faculty of Social Sciences, in student population, is the largest faculty in the University of Kelaniya.
The faculty includes disciplines associated with Buddhist and Asian cultures, such as Pali and Buddhist Studies, Sinhala, Tamil, Sanskrit, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese, while teaching courses in modern European languages such as English, French, German and Russian.
The faculty consists of four departments:
Department of commerce was the first to establish and contribute lots of talented graduates to the industry. BCOM degree is unique to Department of Commerce. Department provides special degree in Financial Management(BCOM (special) Degree in Financial management), Business technology(BCOM (special) Degree in Business Technology), Entrepreneurship(BCOM (special) Degree in Entrepreneurship) and Commerce(BCOM (special) Degree in Commerce).
Twenty-three postgraduate degree programmes and six postgraduate diploma programmes are coordinated by the Faculty of Graduates Studies.
The ICT Centre provides support services in IT-related teaching, research, internet services, staff development and hardware maintenance for the entire university. It conducts a computer literacy course open to all students and advanced courses in Visual Basic, web designing and hardware technology for the students who have successfully completed the computer literacy course. On-the-job training in the IT arena is provided for the young people just out of the university who work in the ICT Centre.
The maintenance unit provides network, hardware and software support to the clients in the university, and IT solutions for academic departments and administrative branches of the university. Video filming of special events of the university since 2005 is an additional service.
Currently the ICT Centre hosts web and mail services for all student and staff. They have a university wide wifi network called "Kelani-WiFi". The ICT Centre is the first institutional Sri Lankan member of Eduroam.
Centre for Gender studies was founded by Prof. Maitree Wickremasinghe with the objective of initiating and conducting research on Gender issues and conducting educational programs on gender studies. Currently, Dr. Sagarika Kannangara act as the director of this centre.
Hostel facilities are provided for selected numbers of students. Hostels are located inside and outside the university premises.