The Government of Sri Lanka introduced the Technology stream to Sri Lankan school system in 2013 as a strategy of harnessing talents of youth to capture the advantage of relevant emerging technologies to drive the economy by providing an education which embraces competencies to satisfy the needs of the nation.
The GCE Advanced Level examination although a certification examination, but the results of it also serves for the selection of students for Sri Lankan universities and other higher education institutes. The examinations under this newly introduced technology stream were held for the first time in the year 2015. Hence the introduction of new undergraduate programmes into the Sri Lankan university system will provide an avenue for those who are ambitious to work in the industry and/or pursue higher studies under technology stream.
University of Sri Jayewardenepura had come forward accepting to establish the first ever Faculty of Technology in a Sri Lankan university to support this government initiation. Thus the project of Establishment of Faculty of Engineering and Technology at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura was initiated in July 2013 by the former Vice Chancellor Dr. N. L. A. Karunaratne by appointing Prof. P. B. Mandawala to coordinate the project of Establishing the Faculty of Engineering and Technology.
Upon taking his chair as the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. Sampath Amaratunge, shouldered the responsibilities of the process of establishing the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. With his leadership the University Council appointed an advisory board consisting of four eminent academics; Prof. D. A. Tantrigoda (Chairman), Prof. Ajith Abesekara, Prof. M. M. Karunanayake, and Prof. K. Deheragoda to provide their guidance to this project.
With the approval of the University Council for the recommendation made by the Vice Chancellor and the council appointed advisory board, two leading academics who are well equipped with experiences of introducing new academic programs to the Sri Lankan higher education system, Prof. Kapila C. K. Perera and Dr. Ranjan Perera accepted the Lead Consultants’ role of developing the academic programs for the Technology degree in March 2015. Simultaneously the Vice Chancellor and the university council approved the appointment of Dr. Rajitha Gunaratne as a Temporary Senior Lecturer to support lead consultants for the curriculum development work. One month later Dr. Tharaka Ariyadasa was recruited by the Vice Chancellor as a Temporary Senior Lecturer to strengthen the technology faculty development team. The technology team commenced their work from VC’S lodge which was provided by the Vice Chancellor.
A team of six senior consultants representing different technology areas; Prof. T. M. Pallewatta, Dr. L. D. J. F. Nanayakkara, Dr. T. A. Piyasiri, Dr. Ranjith Amarasinghe, Mr. D. K. Withanage, and Mr. J. Meegoda, was appointed by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura with the advice of the Vice Chancellor to support the lead consultants. In 2016, Prof. Siromi Samarasinghe from the Faculty of Applied Sciences was appointed to strengthen up the senior consultant team.
Initially, six in-house consultants; Dr. S. B. Nawaratne, Dr. J. Wansapala, Dr. (Mrs.) S. Weerasinghe, Dr. E. A. T. A. Edirisooriya, Dr. T. G. I. Fernando, and Dr. L. Ranatunge, from the Faculty of Applied Science were appointed as consultants for the development of curriculum together with the two lead consultants.
The technology team was thus established and took over the responsibilities of developing the curricula for three technology degree programs, fulfilling the need of the technology education in Sri Lanka. Workshops were organized to understand the student’s attributes, breadth and depth of the curriculum. Subsequently the progress and the proposed curricula were presented to the University Senate. At this stage the University Senate recommended to establish two separate faculties for Technology and Engineering.
The proposed Technology curricula were then recommended to the University Council upon the approval of the University Senate on 23rd September, 2015. Followed by the recommendation of the University Council on 08th October, University Grants Commission approved the proposed Technology curricula for three degree programs including the 9 specialized subject areas on 19th November, 2015.
Progress of the Establishment of the first ever Faculty of Technology in Sri Lanka was presented to the President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, to the Minister of Higher Education and Highways Hon. Lakshman Kiriella and State Minister of Higher Education Hon. Mohan Lal Grero by the Vice Chancellor at several occasions.
At the initial stage the Faculty of Technology will be located at a temporary premise in Nugegoda area and then be shifted to the permanent Faculty Complex later on. The government of Sri Lanka agreed to provide required funding and to allocate a land for the new Faculty of Technology Complex at Pitipana, Colombo as a result of the tremendous efforts by the university administration led by the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, and his Administrative Team together with the Program Coordinator and the Academic Consultative Teams.
Fulfilling the immense efforts, dedication, and the vision of Prof. Sampath Amaratunge, Vice Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and his teams, Ministry of Higher Education and Highways of Sri Lanka officially announced the establishment of the Faculty of Technology through the Gazette Extraordinary (No. 1948/59 Order under Section 27(1), THE UNIVERSITIES ACT, No. 16 of 1978) that was published on 8th of January, 2016.