Professor Graeme Britton is a seasoned veteran, with over 30 accumulated years of exposure and experience in handling universities in Finland, New Zealand and Singapore. During the 30 years, Professor Britton has gained further experience in conducting applied research in industry, including company-specific projects, national projects, and international collaborative research projects. Currently Professor Britton holds [...]


Signifying the Artistic Fundamentals of Creation and Design- explained tastefully by the President of Raffles University


Professor Graeme Britton is a seasoned veteran, with over 30 accumulated years of exposure and experience in handling universities in Finland, New Zealand and Singapore. During the 30 years, Professor Britton has gained further experience in conducting applied research in industry, including company-specific projects, national projects, and international collaborative research projects.

President: Prof. Dr. Graeme Britton ( DEng, PhD, BE (Hons), CEng, FIMechE

Currently Professor Britton holds office as the President & CEO, Raffles University Iskandar, Malaysia, and has been approved by the MOHE as President of RUI.

A look at Professor Britton’s CV proves the extent of his stature. With such grand achievements listed behind his name, it is evident that Professor Britton has a lot to share with the Sri Lankan community. That is exactly what the reader is in store, as Professor Graeme Britton graciously shone light on the wonders available for any who chose Raffles University as an educational partner.

 What is the concept behind Raffles University? Care to share a glimpse on how it all began?

Raffles Education was founded as a Design Institute in Singapore in 1990. Since then, it has been a journey of expansion and improvement. Raffles University was established for 2 reasons. Firstly, it is to introduce our own university which offers degrees in our colleges throughout the world.

Secondly, Raffles is a part of the Malaysian Edu-City Project, which is a major component of the Southern Tip of Mainland Malaysia which develops the entire region. A part of that project includes a University City, and Raffles is a crucial part of it.

 What enticed Raffles to embrace the world of education especially with design and business?

The University started in 1990, specializing solely in design. Gradually, an international reputation was built up. Starting off as a College, it is evident that Raffles has expanded drastically since then. Expansion meant that Raffles got the luxury to venture into Business, then later onto Psychology, and currently it is expanding onto Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

Programmes are broadened as the university starts to grow. The university has started to take each step vertically. Previously there was a College which offered tertiary education, but not higher education. However, at present, Raffles stands proudly as a source which provides highly demanded higher education. It has evolved into a global sensation, as it has currently made its presence felt in Malaysia, Thailand and Bangkok.

 As the current President and CEO of Raffles University, how has the duties and responsibilities affected, changed and improved your personal and professional life?

Raffles University is fairly novice, even if the expansion it has achieved is way ahead of its time. My previous positions and academia permitted me to start an abundance of new programmes. I have constantly been involved with change/ transformation in departments and laboratories. I had start-up experience, but never at University level.

This is a wonderful opportunity for me to put all my ideas into practice and be able to actually help to propel a new university to greater distances, and to establish Raffles on a high pedestal. Daily I attempt to direct the university on the route which is ideal for university education.

Professionally it has helped me to hone my soft skills and entrepreneurial skills. Personally, it has improved my communication capabilities. Dealing with the public has been a responsibility worthy of being cherished. Being the public face of the university when it is required is indeed exhilarating.

 How impactful has Raffles University been in Malaysia, and why did Raffles University chose to bring their degree programmes to Sri Lanka?

A grand impression is left in Malaysia. Raffles University ensures experiential learning. Novice students enter, and leaves as young professionals. That is due to that unique and effective approach, and as a result of the highly qualified lecturer panel who have thorough industrial experience. The background is such, that even the government has taken note of the grandeur of the students passing out of Raffles University.

The reason to choose Sri Lanka as a market was due to the inherent objective to extend degrees to countries across the globe, and it was observed that Sri Lanka was in dire need for what Raffles has to offer. It has taken some time to officially enter the market, and once all loose-ends were tied up, a lasting partnership was established with the island paradise.

Prof. Dr. Graeme Britton and Assistant Vice President (Sri Lanka Operations): Johannes Silaban

 How does Raffles University help students prosper in their higher education as well as their professional careers?

The University is controlled through the Raffles Quality Assurance Program, and that is done through 2 approaches.

The first approach is conducted on location level; that being monitored through the Headquarter Unit in Singapore (which I personally supervise). Throughout the 3 year duration of the degree programmes offered by Raffles University, each degree programme which is offered has to undergo full quality assurance procedures before they are extended to the students.

The next approach is to guarantee that the quality of the delivery in each college across the globe is constant and of equal caliber. The programmes are almost similar with the exception of a few localized modules which each particular country require.

 What are the approaches taken by Raffles University to make sure that students get the maximum use of the programmes offered?

It all revolved around experiential learning. Taking Design into consideration, there is a significant process. Starting with concept development and then moving onto production; all the students are given exposure within that cycle.

The staff has adequate industrial exposure, and is approved by the quality assurance unit. Bringing the industry into the learning picture ensures that students are overseen by seasoned greats within the trade. Students are evaluated, scrutinized and tutored by those who have a vast knowledge built on years of experience, and that itself is a crucial asset.

Whilst the industry is brought into the university, in reverse, the students are sent out into the field to associate with leading industrial greats to get hand-on experience within companies which are relevant to their specializations.

Even the projects which are assigned are similar to real life simulations, thus students’ gets a taste of coping with genuine authentic pressure associated with working in a workplace. This grants them a thorough comprehension regarding the context of the real world. That is how Raffles has made a difference in Malaysia, and that is how it plans to make a difference here in Sri Lanka.

 What’s life like for those who pass out from Raffles University? What is the market demand for Raffles students?

The market demand for students in Malaysia is best evaluated by analyzing the recorded figures and statistics in recent times. In Malaysia, 96% of the students receive employment within 6 months after graduation, and 16% of the graduates have gone onto launch their own signature companies. That is a grand achievement, since Raffles has produced both professional graduates, efficient employees as well as potent, intelligent entrepreneurs.

Experiential learning grants students the confidence to venture into unexplored horizons, professionalism to tackle any difficult task and live up to the socially expected professional standards.

Meeting market demand has never been an issue for Raffles. In fact, there is a shortage where employers actively urge the university to increase the intakes so as to facilitate more graduates who pass out into the labor force. The current plan is to create such a scenario in the Sri Lankan market, and in due time, that plan will turn into an inevitability.

 How competent do you feel are Sri Lankan students, compared to students across the globe, in terms of skill and creativity?

Raffles University doesn’t scrutinize students based on their nationalities. Raffles University, Malaysia has a student representation of 16 countries, and they aren’t distinguished based on nationality, religion nor culture. Students are viewed equally; regardless if they have prior experience within the particular field or not.

Raffles University isn’t bothered about where the students are from; what matters is where they ultimately end up in. A general or high school education is considered as the entry requirement and the job of the university is to take these students and mold them into young professionals.

Raffles has been operating in Sri Lanka for some time and the students that have been gifted to the society are of supreme quality. The university has been running top-up programme for this year which was thoroughly monitored by the staff. The reports are that the students are indeed meeting with the expected standards. Therefore the students of Sri Lanka can remain confident that they will graduate with high honors in whichever specialization they chose.

 Can you share a few of Raffles University’s most precious and proudest memories?

My personal favorite memory is our first ever convocation, which took place in 2016. It was a small cohort comprising of only 14 students. It is special since it’s the maiden graduating batch, and it meant that the university has completed one full cycle of education.

The next cause for pride is the international exposure received by the graduates. They have won international level competitions. In industrial design, students have had their work presented in Venice Biennale in 2017. This year, a student had her work presented in the London Fashion Show.

There is a special graduate fashion show, and it is fairly difficult to gain entry. 40 International Universities take part in this event. Raffles was the only university in Malaysia who earned entry to this fashion show, and that reflects on the prestige that the university dictates across international waters.

Lastly, Raffles held a 3 day extravaganza called Ignite. The event paved way for a fashion show, an artistic painting competition and a t-shirt design competition. Each day was just as exciting as the other, and it surely gave Raffles the traction which it deserves.

 What is Raffles University’s promise to the Sri Lankan society?

Raffles leaves a promise to the students that they will surely graduate as young professionals. Since Raffles University works with the industry, it has close associations with several NGOs which gift students the needed experience. The University has a unique Social Responsibility; therefore it urges students to dedicate some of their volunteered time for the benefit of the local community.

 Raffles Design Institute
(Pvt) Limited

74, Galle Road,

Colombo 4, Sri Lanka

[M]: +94 777 833 014 [T]: +94 114 375 111 [F]: +94 114 375 222

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