31st March 2011, www.dailynews.lk, By Ramani Kangaraarachchi
The construction of the first research based UK university in Sri Lanka is expected to commence this year on a 200 acre land. The project will have Rs 35 billion transaction value and create more than 3,000 employment opportunities other than academic jobs.
A high powered delegation from Uclan (Overseas Limited) University of Central Lancashire CEO Ian Robertson arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday to make the official announcement on the Pounds 30,000 million investment which is a BOI project.
The Central Lancashire University is a leading UK university widely regarded for international research partnerships in 17 different countries.
Robertson told Daily News Business that following initial discussions he had with Uva Wellassa University Vice-Chancellor Chandra Embuldeniya two years ago regarding this project, a survey conducted revealed that Sri Lanka is a source of talents with huge potential to become an education hub in the region.
The university will be named as Uclan Sri Lanka.
A lot of work has been completed by now including the concept, designs, programs and he appreciated the interest and attitude of the Sri Lankan Government to have a unique university focused on the entrepreneurial needs of the country that could be extended to global needs.
This university will add new knowledge to the country and generate intellectual properties, Robertson said.
Robertson said the international demand for education is growing rapidly and the industry will have to play a huge role. Therefore sixty percent of students will be from overseas to follow around twenty one undergraduate programs which include automobile, nano technology, healthcare, tourism and fashion with research facilities as required. It is expected to enrol the first batch of students in 2013 and the faculty will include both local and foreign personnel, fifty percent from each.
Ten thousand students could be accommodated once the whole project is completed within five years. Sri Lanka will be the international centre for research and conferencing on scientific subjects in the future with the commencement of this university.
Image: UK delegation Head and CEO Ian Robertson with Uva Wellassa University Vice-Chancellor Chandra Embuldeniya. Picture by Lalith Gamage
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