Business Times

No strikes, unrest at Sri Lanka’s model university in Badulla

By Bandula Sirimanna

The Uva-Wellassa University (UWU), Sri Lanka’s first all entrepreneurial university, has a set of highly disciplined students, a ragging free environment, no student unrest and from its inception in 2004 is ‘nothing short of a miracle,’ says a 2011 report reviewing the performance of this university.

A 5-member team headed by Prof. Lakshman Jayathilake, a well-known academic from the University of Peradeniya, noted in the institutional review report 2011 that these university students exercise their rights to develop strength in their academic and extra –curricular activities which results in the production of high quality output readily accepted by employers. “The entrepreneurial strategy base is to provide employable graduates with exceptional skills and competence,” the team said adding that the UWU has been operating without student riots since its inception and the university has not been closed even for a single day due to student unrest.

To supplement the government’s accelerated development strategy, a talented, competent, persevering and patriotic set of youth is essential and with a strategic plan in mind the Uva-Wellassa University (UWU) has adopted procedures in corporate planning, setting university goals, management of financial resources, quality management and administration resulting in a higher conducive learning environment for students, the report said.

The review team has commended the university management administration with minimum number of employees throughout and sourcing some of its services. A fairly effective mentoring system is being maintained for the benefit of students, the review team said. UWU supports their graduates to become entrepreneurs rather than they becoming employees. They would be helped to obtain Intellectual Property and patient rights.

The review process has shown that the judgement of confidence can be given to the Uva Wellassa University considering its procedures to safe guard standards and maintain quality. The University focus is on research and learning with strong emphasis on value addition to the national resources to produce well-rounded leaders capable of using scientific, technological and entrepreneurial for economic development within undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, corporate as well as continuing education markets, the report added.

The Uva Wellassa University is the 14th National University established in Sri Lanka, and its current and founder Vice Chancellor is Dr. Chandra Embuldeniya. It differs from other Sri Lankan universities as it is designed to provide essential skills and broad general education for all students while providing the conceptual and methodological background and the training necessary to obtain practical solutions for value addition to the national resources base of Sri Lanka.

The report said the total number of students are 1300 as at April 2010 and there are no clerks, peons, computer operators, etc. The UWU on its website says it is different from other universities as it produces graduates for market needs and ready for employment in the private sector companies.

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