UK university, The University of Bolton, together with the KES Group of Institutions is establishing an academic centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, helping to support the country's rapidly developing economy.
The centre, offering British university education, will be housed within the Western College for Management & Technology (WCMT) at Mt Lavinia, a Government of Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI) approved institution.
WCMT is part of the KES Group of Institutions which has significant experience in delivering trans-national education across India and the United Arab Emirates. The KES Group of Institutions operates eight further and higher education institutions across a widespread geographical area. This new development follows the successful launches of the University of Bolton's first overseas campus in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, and BoltOnline, the brand under which the University's online degrees are delivered - both developed in association with the KES Group of Institutions.
The University and its partner, have identified Mt Lavinia as an ideal location for the new Bolton Academic Centre (BAC).The WCMT campus is on Galle Road and is easily accessible for students. The campus offers expansive teaching and learning facilities.
Dr Sudhir Kartha, Chairman of the KES Group of Institutions said BAC had been set up to provide meaningful and cost-effective learning opportunities to Sri Lankan students wanting to gain a high-quality British degree, without the cost and time penalties of leaving Sri Lanka. Whilst he expected most Sri Lankan students to complete their entire degree in Sri Lanka, the programmes to be offered will provide the flexibility and opportunity to study degree-specific modules at the University of Bolton campuses in either the UK or the UAE.
Dr Kartha also stressed that the programmes offered in Sri Lanka would be at highly competitive fee levels. WCMT will also provide substantial merit and fee-based scholarships to suitable applicants wanting to study at BAC.
Dr George Holmes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, said: 'The student experience is more than just about attending lectures. We deliver a blend of academic knowledge with practical, applied skills which employers need. Students gain professional insight and skills that enable them to advance at work, in their chosen careers. International educational activities are of key strategic importance to the University of Bolton. The BAC in Sri Lanka will provide huge benefits for both staff and students through transfers and exchange between the Sri Lankan, UAE and UK campuses.'
Dr Zubair Hanslot, Academic Director International Campus Developments and Campus Provost for the Bolton Academic Centre, Sri Lanka campus, said: 'The University of Bolton is exactly the type of university needed in Sri Lanka. The University's philosophy is wholly focused on teaching, learning and support to ensure student success in achieving a degree and transforming students' work and career prospects. Our degrees will develop practitioner level skills that are highly sought after by employers.'
Courses to be offered at BAC from February, subject to normal academic validation, will be:
BA (Hons) Business Management
BA (Hons) Business Management - Top-Up (final year entry by part-time study)
BSc (Hons) Computing
BSc (Hons) Computing - Top-Up (final year entry by part-time study)
MBA Master of Business Administration
MSc Information Technology
All quality assurance procedures will be directly controlled by the University of Bolton, UK.
Dr Hanslot added, 'BAC will be initially launched in October 2011 as a BoltOnline hub for the online delivery of currently validated programmes, at Postgraduate and Undergraduate levels, in Business and Computing. Students on these programmes will enjoy local tutorial support provided by WCMT in addition to the standard online tuition offered by BoltOnline.
'Beginning in February 2012, subject to the normal academic validation process, it is envisaged that we will introduce a 'flying faculty' model which will see British academics delivering lectures at the Bolton Academic Centre (BAC) in Mt Lavinia. In addition, it is planned to broaden the postgraduate provision allowing students to study part-time while they continue in work,'
Dr Kartha added: 'Sri Lankan students completing credits/ awards through award bodies such as Edexcel, ABE, ABP, ACCA, CIMA, CIM and many others, will be able to apply for advanced standing and credit transfer options at the Bolton Academic Centre (BAC) in Mt Lavinia, Sri Lanka. All decisions regarding advanced standing and credit transfer will be made directly by the University of Bolton, UK.'
The University of Bolton positions itself as student-centered, providing career relevant programmes. It is currently delivering programmes in nine countries, predominantly in the Far East, Asia and Africa.
The University is known for the high quality of its teaching and student supportThe UK's National Student Survey, published in August, showed University of Bolton students ranked their university joint top in their area and are as satisfied with the standard of their learning expereince as students at the universities of Manchester and Salford.
This is the second year in a row the University of Bolton has improved its student satisfaction performance. It meets or exceeds Greater Manchester average scores for student-rated performance in: teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management and personal development, as well as overall satisfaction.
Dr Kartha concluded: 'We aim to provide modern teaching facilities and the broadest range of flexible degree options available from a UK university in Sri Lanka. We're also keen to develop relationships with local employers to meet their employees' professional and high level skill needs. We are confident of attracting students from all over the region with the focus on enabling students to stay with their families while studying.'