Uva Wellassa University – An academic journey towards excellence
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
Uva Wellassa University, conceptualised with a vision to be the centre of excellence for value addition to the national resource base, was established in 2005 in Badulla, on the Passara road, in the salubrious surroundings of a panoramic location in the hills. The implementation of the university’s vision was led by a concrete mission to produce well-rounded, employable, technocratic and entrepreneurial graduates equipped with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to make outstanding contributions to national development, and to excel in teaching, learning and research, with a strong emphasis on value addition to the national resources base.
The Vice Chancellor is the guiding light of any University. The founding Vice Chancellor of UWU, as it is known, is Dr. Chandra Embuldeniya. The university has been blessed with four distinguished personalities as Vice Chancellors – Dr. Chandra Embuldeniya, Professor Ranjith Premalal De Silva, Dr. G. Chandrasena, and Dr. J.L. Ratnasekara, who have guided the university towards its current status as an institution of repute, fulfilling its vision.
With a strong foundation, the UWU has begun its journey towards success in every step with the support of a young and enthusiastic team of academic staff, administrative staff and academic support staff who are committed to equipping students with better knowledge, skills and competencies. Not only that, they also widen their contribution by supporting students in every way to mould their young minds so that they become productive citizens.
The University welcomes all perspectives, but above all, UWU salutes humanity, genuine service and quality. At a time when ragging in higher education institutions has been highlighted, the University entertained a learning environment free of controversy. The students enjoy their university entrance in the first two semesters learning and moulding their personalities by building soft skills with the Broad General Education (BGE) and Essential Skills Development (ESD) programmes.
Thirteen degree programmes conducted by four faculties have set their benchmark on outcome-based education, achieving their intended learning outcomes and measuring the standards of quality education at different levels.
The Management Faculty is committed to pursuing excellence in research, teaching, community services and university–industry cooperation and collaboration, whilst making all efforts to be the centre of excellence for management and tourism education in Sri Lanka. The Management Faculty conducts two degree programmes: Entrepreneurship and Management and Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management.
Science and Technology, Computer Science and Technology, Industrial Information Technology and Mineral Resources’ Technology are the degree programmes offered by the Science and Technology Faculty. The faculty moulds UWU students with practical education, making them well equipped with research and leadership qualities.
Knowledge and expertise for value addition to the Sri Lankan resource base is well performed by the Animal Science and Export Agriculture Faculty, which offers five degree programmes – Animal Science, Aquatic Resources Technology, Export Agriculture, Tea Technology and Value Addition, and Palm and Latex Technology and Value Addition.
The Technological Studies Faculty which is the fourth faculty of the UUW was established in 2017 with the intention of uplifting the technological sector of the country. The Bachelor of Engineering Technology and Bachelor of Bio-Systems Technology are the two academic programmes which helps the faculty to reach its goal.
There is a cultural shift in the field of higher education from that of a teaching university culture into a learning and reading university culture. After Independence, the country has been practising the teaching method more than the flexible learning method. Therefore, changing mindsets and re-structuring the cognitive map of students have become major challenges. the UWU symbolises the need for the structural change of the country’s education system, envisioning the multiple learning approach by changing the teaching method into learning models incorporating the existing hierarchical structure of knowledge, skills and attitudes into attitudes, knowledge and skills which give priority to the thinking aspect.
The conversion of ‘human doing’ into ‘human being’ is the key element of education which can only be done by developing the reading habit of the upcoming generation. Therefore, first place must be given to the library which is meant to be the heart of the university.
Reading can be more enthusiastic when it is inculcated in the culture: it should be well supported by the family, elementary schools, and public agents.
The university recently held its eighth convocation, producing another batch of graduates with well-shaped personalities for the benefit of the nation.
The event was held at the BMICH on August 11. At the eighth convocation, 523 students received degrees in the following progammes:
Management Sciences’ Faculty
Bachelor of Business Management in Entrepreneurship and Management
Focus: To produce graduates with an entrepreneurial culture and confidence in dealing with management issues and competence to deal with value addition. The BBM degree prepares students for graduate studies and is an excellent preparation for careers in managerial professions.
Bachelor of Business Management in Hospitality Tourism and Events’ Management
Focus: To provide an overall exposure to facilitate skill development in Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management. In addition to imparting knowledge on core subjects, the course facilitates development of advanced skills in Marketing, Communication, Languages and niche areas as they apply to Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management
Science and Technology Faculty
Bachelor of Technology in Science and Technology
Focus: To produce graduates with scientific knowledge in the technology involved in the value addition of the national resource base.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Technology
Focus: To produce graduates with scientific knowledge in modern computer technology with particular attention to value addition.
Bachelor of Industrial Information Technology
Focus: To produce graduates with scientific knowledge gained through theoretical and practical studies in modern Industrial Information Technology for value addition in industrial and business processes.
Bachelor of Science in Mineral Resources and Technology
Focus: To produce graduates with a specialised knowledge of the utilisation of the nation’s mineral resources.
Animal Science and Export Agriculture Faculty
Bachelor of Animal Science
Focus: To produce graduates with hands-on knowledge of animal farming with adequate knowhow on animal health and value addition. This course offers a continuation of knowledge and skills in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, together with the required knowledge in Agriculture.
Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Resources’ Technology
Focus: To produce well-rounded leaders capable of using scientific and technological approaches to develop aquatic resources in Sri Lanka, and to expose them to the latest and advanced global technologies and cater to the global and regional demands in the sector through production of novel value-added products.
Bachelor of Science in Export Agriculture
Focus: To produce graduates competent in producing greater value addition to export-oriented agricultural crops. The curriculum will include horticulture, floriculture and export crops such as tea, rubber and coconut.
Bachelor of Science in Tea Technology and Value Addition
Focus: To produce graduates with specialised knowledge in tea processing technology and value addition with the aim of uplifting the Sri Lankan tea industry.
Bachelor of Science in Palm and Latex Technology and Value Addition
Focus: To provide students with advanced scientific knowledge for the proper assessment of palm and latex sector and thereby to inspire the industry in order to enhance value addition to the national palm and latex resource.
At this juncture, we express our gratitude towards our respected Chancellor, the Most Venerable Bengamuwe Sri Dhammadinna Nayake Thera for his able guidance and utmost support. The value of sunrise is known only to people who were in the darkness and we know your value. Our eighth batch would not have been successful without the supervision and the guidance of our Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jayantha Lal Ratnasekera. The collective effort with the support of scholars has led the successful holding of the eighth convocation.
Power to Success
“Development does not start with goods, it starts with people and their education, organisation and discipline,” as Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher’s said, is a classic call to end excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as ‘Buy Locally’ and ‘Fair Trade’, while voicing strong opposition to ‘casino capitalism’ and wasteful corporate behemoths. Named one of the Times’Literary Supplement’s 100 Most Influential Books since World War II, his Small Is Beautiful presents logical arguments for building our economy around the needs of communities, not corporations. — Dr. K.M.R.K. Kulatunga (Senior Assistant Librarian Uva Wellassa University)