The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) has greatly benefited higher education in Sri Lanka. In line with the noble aim of its visionary Founder and Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando, it offers a future for the many students entitled to enter state universities but cannot be admitted due to the acute shortage of [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

SAITM – A great boost to higher education in Sri Lanka


The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) has greatly benefited higher education in Sri Lanka. In line with the noble aim of its visionary Founder and Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando, it offers a future for the many students entitled to enter state universities but cannot be admitted due to the acute shortage of capacity.

“This kind of institution is a timely need,”said Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean – Faculty of Management & Finance, SAITM, Prof. P.S.M.Gunaratne. He noted that most students eligible to enter state universities are left out. However, SAITM offers a real campus-life experience and highly-reputed qualifications to build their future.

Prof. Gunaratne also pointed out that the institute saves the country much foreign exchange by preventing students from studying overseas. In fact, it is estimated that local students studying abroad cost the country around Rs. 7 billion in foreign exchange annually.

The cost of following some of the reputed programmes at SAITM is just one-fifth of the cost of studying overseas or less.
According to Prof. Gunaratne, there is a misconception about free education. He said, “Though it is free for the recipient, it is not free for the country. The taxpayer has to bear the cost.” He added that institutions like SAITM, by making recipients pay for a solid education, lessen the burden on the country.

Prof. Gunaratne praised Dr. Neville Fernando for investing so much in a state-of-the-art institute of higher education that offers a true campus experience. “SAITM basically functions like a full-fledged university,” he said. He added that it is vastly superior to the various small institutes offering degrees in affiliation with foreign universities, which have sprung up all over.

He further said that students at SAITM make contact with students in a range of fields and disciplines, which will benefit them in the future. “Here we have students studying medicine, engineering, management, finance, IT, ICT and media. This is a truly conducive environment for social networking. Further, the institute supports students to develop their skills through a wide range of extracurricular activities such as sports and cultural activities,” he added.

Located in a charming setting in Malabe, SAITM opened its doors to students in August 2009. These students are now pursuing various globally-recognized degrees. The institute has been granted degree-awarding status by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka.

SAITM has 4 faculties – the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Engineering & IT, the Faculty of Management and Finance, and the Faculty of ICT & Media. It is the largest multi-faculty non-state sector higher education institute monitored by the UGC.

The Faculty of Medicine prepares students for the local MBBS Degree as well as the Doctor of Medicine (MD) Degree in affiliation with the Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy in the Russian Federation. Among the benefits of pursuing medical studies at SAITM are – teaching by highly qualified staff including professors of state medical faculties; small group teaching classes, with modern classrooms; fully-equipped laboratories; large and airy dissecting rooms and clinical training at its own newly-built hospital, etc.
The Faculty of Engineering offers BSc Eng. (Hons) Degrees in Industrial Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Telecommunication Engineering, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, ICT Engineering, Bio System Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Environment Engineering. These degrees are awarded by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand and are recognized by the UGC. They entail 4 years of study, that is, 2 years in Sri Lanka and 2 years in Thailand.
The Engineering programmes are backed by highly-qualified full-time academic staff and visiting faculty selected from the best available in state universities and industry. Facilities include very modern, well-equipped engineering and computer laboratories. From time to time research symposiums and workshops are organized by the faculty for the benefit of students. The Faculty of Engineering offers industrial training in reputed local and foreign companies. Students can obtain credit transfers to US/European universities, and scholarships are offered for the best performers.

The Faculty of Management and Finance of SAITM conducts 3-year programmes in affiliation with the Buckinghamshire New University, UK. Registration is open to students with local/London A/Ls in any stream. In the final year, students can specialize in Accounting & Finance, Business Management, Marketing & Business or International Management. These programmes blend theoretical knowledge with practical experience, including industry visits and industry placements, and offer students high earning potential locally and internationally.

The faculty offers top-up programmes for students with professional qualifications (at least third level) such as ACCA, CIMA, CMA, ICASL, CIM, SLIM and Advanced Diplomas. Students with part professional qualifications are also entitled to get exemptions in Business/Accounting degree programmes

The Buckinghamshire New University that awards these degrees is listed in the Commonwealth University Yearbook, which is recognized by the UGC. The formula offered by SAITM helps the right candidates to earn UK internal degrees in Sri Lanka at a minimum cost. The faculty comprises highly qualified staff with proper academic/professional qualifications including professors and industry experts.

The Faculty of ICT & Media of SAITM offers the BSc in Computing & Interactive Media. It too is affiliated with the Buckinghamshire New University, and the UK internal degree offered is recognized by the UGC and can be completed in Sri Lanka.

This faculty also comprises full-time academic staff and industry experts, and offers industrial training with reputed companies. It also has a large iMac computer laboratory and mini studio.

All SAITM courses are highly job-oriented, with a strong practical component. This enables students to readily obtain employment anywhere in the world.

Among the benefits of studying at SAITM are: the highly-advanced technology-based teaching with well-equipped classrooms; the eco-friendly environment and infrastructure for a real campus-life experience; the recreation facilities; library; cafeteria; the large auditorium and facilities to develop students’ aesthetic skills; and the free shuttle service from Malabe and Kaduwela.

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