The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Horizon Campus links with the University of London


Since its establishment 18 months ago, Horizon Campus, Malabe in the Greater Colombo area, has focused on providing quality higher education to undergraduate students who aspire to obtain degrees from renowned and recognized overseas universities, and towards that end will join the list of teaching institutions offering University of London International Programmes in Sri Lanka. This initial link with the University of London International Programmes, with time, would lead to Horizon Campus seeking official recognition with University of London International Programmes.

Commenting on its link with Horizon Campus, Dr. Keith Sharp, Director, University of London International Programmes at LSE said that when Horizon Campus approached University of London International Programmes, they were impressed with the Campus’s vision and plans to offer quality higher education to undergraduate students in Sri Lanka, and had decided to work with Horizon Campus by offering their internationally recognized courses of study that would lead to students obtaining University of London degrees, recognized worldwide. University of London programmes, for which the LSE provides academic direction, comprise degree courses that lead to BSc in Banking & Finance, Economics, Economics & Management, Politics & International Relations, Accounting & Finance, and Accounting with Law will commence at Horizon Campus in September 2012.

Explaining the criteria laid down by University of London, Dr. Sharp said that the progress of students who follow their courses in any part of the world are continuously monitored, and the standards set for students in the UK are the same as those set for students in any other part of the world.

The University of London has, for more than 150 years, opened its doors to students from around the world and has provided opportunities for students to gain internationally recognised degrees without leaving their own countries. The University of London is a federal university made up of eighteen constituent colleges, twelve of which provide  academic direction for University of London International Programmes. Interestingly, the University of London has had a long relationship with Sri Lanka as the then University College of Ceylon offered University of London degrees to its students from its formation in 1913  a tie-up which went on for 29 years before the University of Ceylon became a university in its own right. The University of London International Programmes have certainly stood the test of time, and continue to offer students from around the world the opportunity to obtain internationally recognised, world-class degrees without leaving their home countries.

The fact that these courses are cost effective when they are followed locally is a boon to students, who may otherwise have to spend much more if they were to proceed to England for their higher studies. An important point that Dr. Keith Sharp made was that if students followed LSE’s internationally recognized degree courses in their home countries, apart from the aspect of these courses costing much less while at the same time, there would be no compromise on the quality of the teaching faculty and the facilities offered at local institutions such as Horizon Campus, the country too, does not lose out on a bright student who might otherwise not want to come back to Sri Lanka. In effect, the availability of internationally recognized degree courses as those offered by University of London International Programmes would stem the brain drain that developing countries across the globe face. This point is further underscored by LSE-led University of London International Programmes being followed by over 22,000 students, worldwide.

The University of London’s comprehensive study guides ensure that the quality of education is at its peak, anywhere in the world. Its online ‘Virtual Learning Environment’ complements the work of teaching institutions and allows students to access a range of learning materials. The University of London also takes a keen interest to help its teaching institutes to identify the best teachers and monitor the performance of the students every year, and give the teaching institute feedback on their progress as well. This, too, is part of the process that is given towards an institute such as Horizon Campus, obtaining formal recognition from University of London.

Horizon Campus’ step by step approach in commencing courses of study for which there is a demand, before expanding to other disciplines, is considered sensible, Dr. Sharp opined, adding that Sri Lanka has produced some of the best students over the years. He was very hopeful that Horizon Campus, too, would meet the stringent criteria that have been laid down by University of London to obtain formal recognition in view of the fact that the campus has excellent facilities to offer its students  a seven storey state of the art building that has well designed Wi-Fi enabled lecture rooms, well equipped laboratories including a psychology laboratory, a well stocked library for reference, a computer laboratory, comfortable reading rooms in addition to facilities to engage in sports and recreational activities, so vital in today’s context of unwinding after a day of concerted study. These facilities come in the backdrop of calm, lush and salubrious surroundings in Malabe, away from the hustle and the rush of a city based institute of learning.

Students should look not only on the options available, in as far as degree courses are concerned, but also look at other facilities that a campus can offer, and such facilities as available at Horizon Campus would be on par with universities in other parts of the world. The fact that Sri Lanka has some of the best students who have passed out of the University of London has been attributed to the school system in the country which, according to Dr. Sharp, is very good.

He said that Sri Lankan students are well prepared, have good work ethics and noticeably their knowledge in Mathematics and English is good. Thus, Sri Lankan students have, over the decades proved to be outstanding. Horizon Campus, once it launches its University of London programmes of study, would therefore be in a position to contribute towards quality higher education in Sri Lanka, and it has the potential to become an independent, higher educational institute in the future, as did the University of Ceylon, Dr. Sharp observed.
The programmes offered by the University of London are excellent but tough, he said, and students would need to work hard. They should also think about their future career in broad terms. Whilst University of London will equip students in certain fields to meet the challenges in the world, students should also work towards acquiring analytical and communication skills.

The holistic approach to education at Horizon Campus  with all facilities for academic work plus the extra-curricular activities, puts it on par with private and public universities in other parts of the world. Horizon Campus, will over time, introduce more courses of study offered by University of London to students in Sri Lanka, complemented by highly qualified and progressive thinking academic staff while other facilities for extra-curricular activities and recreation will also be added, in particular a swimming pool that would be a reality in the near future.

Please log on to www.horizoncampus.edu.lk for more details on Horizon Campus or
call on 011 240 77 77 / 0714 240 77 77 for further information.

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