Systematic education in Sabaragamuwa province dates back to the times of King Parakramabahu II of the Dambadeniya Period, under whose patronage the Deva Pathiraja Pirivena, a 13th century monastic university, was created in the Palabaddala area of the Ratnapura District. The Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka (SUSL) now stands as the present-day link to such tradition of knowledge and wisdom, which is the 12th national university of contemporary Sri Lanka.
All the degree programmes offered by seven Faculties of SUSL (Agricultural Sciences, Applied Sciences, Geomatics, Management Studies, Medicine, Social Science and Languages, Technology) have been designed in line with the Vision and Mission of the university and core values of the respective faculties. The teaching, learning and assessment methods have been designed to achieve the distinctly defined PLOs and ILOs while the progress of achieving them is periodically monitored using student feedback, observations from industry and peer reviews with adjustments being made when and where necessary. SUSL programmes adopt a combination of direct-delivery and student-centered teaching and learning methods which are adequately aided with ICT.
All degree programmes allow students to get practical knowledge through off campus field-classes, internships and research components which are now compulsory components of the programmes of study. The postgraduate and distance learning/external programmes have also been devised in conformity with SLQF to cater to the competitive demands from different levels of stakeholders. Apart from the academic activities, the university encourages its students to be involved in an array of extra-curricular activities in numerous ways. It should be noted that teaching, learning and assessment, and extra-curricular activities are carried out regardless of students’ gender, race and ethnicity and the requirements of differently-abled students are considered as much as possible, as conditions allow. SUSL ensures that all necessary information is accessible to all its registered students through LMS, SHB and the university website. SUSL takes steps to provide adequate, appropriate and accessible infrastructure facilities, classrooms, auditoriums, well-equipped laboratories, ICT centres, library facilities, teaching and research farms, language laboratories and medical facilities for effective delivery of all programmes of study with regular user surveys in place for monitoring and making improvements.
The Main Library furnishes a number of services to students and teachers on their teaching and research activities through the Library Management System. The “Sith Arana” Centre for Counselling, Centre of Senior Student Counselor, CGEE and CGU render services vital to support the social and personal development of all students. “Sith Arana” has also served in assessing fresh entrants to SUSL for psychiatric illnesses, problem behaviors and vulnerability. The research activities of the staff and students are adequately promoted by giving due recognition to those who are actively involved in such affairs by formal appraisals and financial assistance. The university and respective faculties have made a host of publication avenues for researchers to present their work. At the institutional level, active researchers are appraised by holding the biannual International Conference of SUSL (ICSUSL), Annual Research Session and rewarding at the University Day. The members of the academic staff duly incorporate their research studies in teaching. SUSL is known for its award winning academic research carrying national and international patents, high impact publications and innovations for commercialisation. Each faculty has an active alumni association which can be considered as a source of training opportunities, market information, employer-feedback and extrinsic resources.
SUSL has established its UBLC following the guidelines given in the UGC circular 10/2016 and university policies and by-laws for industry linkage. The university desires to institutionalize the business linkages and commercialization of research output through the said cell. SUSL takes pride in its broad engagement in community outreach activities and in view of further strengthening of community engagement, SUSL offers several extension programmes under CODL and CRKD.
The Township programme to be initiated by SUSL has been discussed in detail during the meetings of the university administrators and has also been mentioned in the programme review reports of the FSSL with unequivocal optimism. The prospective programme now awaits its next stage, which is exploring funding opportunities for its implementation. BAHons in Information and Communication Technology and at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages was introduced for the first time in the history of the Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities in the University system could be considered as one of the innovative steps taken to expand the opportunities for higher education. However, there are certain areas which require further advances to fully adhere to the quality assurance guidelines. For instance, SUSL does not have a comprehensive fallback option for its students, whilst its external degree programme can be considered as an alternative in future actions. Nevertheless, the Faculties of Applied Sciences and Social Sciences and Languages already offer fallback options to a part of its student population by allowing those who fail to successfully complete their Honours degree programmes to graduate with a General degree as long as its requirements have been fulfilled. At the university level, there is a discourse on how to recognize and reward excellence in teaching as currently, the university is not in possession of such a mechanism. As an initiative, a criterion has been designed to quantify teaching excellence which hopefully will be brought into effect in near future. Such performance appraisal and reward mechanisms may improve staff performance.
The university hopes to create more opportunities that will allow its students to gain more exposure to industry far more often and improve their research and career specific skills. Occupational health facilities for staff and a staff grievance policy have been identified as indispensable requirements to be met for the benefit of overall governance and management of the university. Easy access for disabled users should be established in the buildings lacking such facilities, in future while the proposed new library building has been designed and is constructed furnishing the requirement. Such improvements to the physical structure of the university will warrant a serene pathway for the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka in its journey as a higher education institute of the 21st century.
The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, initiated as the UAUC in Rahangala offers four degree programmes, conducted by the following three departments of study.
● Department of Agribusiness Management
● Department of Export Agriculture
● Department of Livestock Production
The mission of the Faculty is to search for and disseminate knowledge in the sphere of Agriculture. The faculty produces graduates in Agricultural Sciences who are proficient in the sciences/disciplines and practical skills in agriculture to contribute towards the manpower requirements of the nation.
The Faculty of Applied Sciences, initiated as the BAUC on 21st June 1993, offers ten degree programmes, conducted by the following five departments of study.
● Department of Computing and Information Systems
● Department of Food Science and Technology
● Department of Natural Resources
● Department of Physical Sciences and Technology
● Department of Sport Sciences and Physical Education
It aims at searching for and disseminating knowledge in the areas of learning that will make a useful contribution to the development of critical manpower requirements of the nation, contributing to education, science and technology and socio-economic uplift of the communities of the nation.
The Faculty of Geomatics was established in 2004 as the successor to the Department of Surveying Sciences which now has a student population of about 350 with the aim of producing about 100 graduates annually. It offers one degree programme with five specialization streams through
● Department of Remote Sensing and GIS
● Department of Surveying and Geodesy
The SUSL offers its graduate qualifications through the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). The availability of several non-traditional, yet technologically influential courses leading to graduate qualifications have left a positive mark upon the university, highlighting the distinctiveness of FGS-SUSL within the national university system.Students who follow the graduate degree programmes at FGS-SUSL aiming for interesting and fulfilling careers in the fields of their interests benefit from widening their research based knowledge,ensuring their career progression and redefining existing forms of knowledge. It offers postgraduate programmes in eight fields of research and study, namely
● Agricultural Sciences
● Computing & Information Systems
● Physical & Natural Sciences
● Social Sciences
● Sports Science & Physical Education
The Faculty of Management Studies commenced its programmes of study offering a three-year degree programme in September 1996.The name of the faculty (Faculty of Business Studies) was changed as the Faculty of Management Studies with the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2003. Today it comprises of
● Department of Accountancy & Finance
● Department of Business Management
● Department of Marketing Management
● Department of Tourism Management
Offering seven bachelors hounours degree programmes. The Faculty seeks the services of Sri Lankan academics and eminent personnel from the industry and foreign academics from Britain, the USA, Australia, Japan, Belgium, India and Malaysia to serve the Faculty from time to time.
The Faculty of Medicine in the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka is the newest arrival to the chain of Medical Faculties in Sri Lanka, being the tenth of its kind. It comprises of 15 academic departments to fulfill the requirements of its MBBS degree programme, of which
● Department of Anatomy
● Department of Biochemistry
● Department of Physiology
are currently in operation.It is established in Ratnapura where it will conduct the first year of the degree program at the Batuhena Faculty premises. The new faculty building and the professorial unit are being constructed at the land adjacent to the Provincial General Hospital, Ratnapura that will serve as the teaching hospital for the Faculty of Medicine providing all clinical training facilities for the students. The Faculty accommodates 75 students as its first intake.
The Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages was established at the same time the University commenced its study programs in 1996. The operations of the Faculty commenced in November 1996 with the intake of students from the former Affiliated University College. It started off with two departments and has advanced to today’s composition with
● Department of Economics & Statistics
● Department of English Language Teaching
● Department of Geography & Environmental Management
● Department of Languages
● Department of Social Sciences
The Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages offers 15 degree programmes, the highest number for any faculty of the SUSL.
The Faculty of Technology was declared open in October, 2018. It offers two degree programmes in technology through its two departments,
● Department of Biosystems Technology
● Department of Engineering Technology
The Faculty intends to accommodate 75 students annually, for each degree program. The first two years of the degree programs will be conducted at a temporary building facility which is equipped with lecture halls, laboratories and administration offices. The construction of the state-of-the art, fully-fledged faculty complex will be commenced shortly under a loan of USD 31 million from the ADB.
The SUSL has the following list of Centres and Units currently in operation.
Centre for Computer Studies
The Centre for Computer Studies provides the IT related academic and technical services in the university. It conducts and supervises academic programmes of different faculties, preparing IT curricula and provides training for the academic, non-academic and academic support staff while hosting the university web service and email facility. Campus-wide internet and networking facility, virtual learning environment with other network services, e-learning facility and hardware software maintenance services are the technical services provided by the centre.
Staff Development Centre
The Staff Development Center (SDC) organizes activities and programs (formal or informal and on or off campus) to help staff members to learn about responsibilities, develop skills and competencies necessary to accomplish institutional and divisional goals. The Induction program for academic staff, which is mandatory for the confirmation of the post as an academic staff member, is conducted each year through this centre. It also conducts programs for personality and professional development for the members of the staff to prepare them for advancement within the SUSL or beyond.
Centre for Research and Knowledge Dissemination
The Centre for Research and Knowledge Dissemination promotes research among the academics within the university and creates opportunities for presenting and publishing research findings for local and international researchers and to disseminate knowledge to the community. It is responsible for coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the research projects conducted by the university, production of university publications, organizing national / international symposiums and conferences and promoting SUSL academic programs at the international level.
Centre for Open and Distance Learning
The main objective of the Centre for Open and Distance Learning (CODL) is to ensure proper functioning of all external degree programmes, diplomas, certificate courses and extension programmes conducted by the university. Initially, the unit was a community Development Centre with the aim of providing job oriented certificate programmes on selected fields to the youth in the area. After establishing the SUSL in 1996, the centre was renamed as the EDPESU in 2000 with the expectation of helping and guiding the needy population in the area with a wider outreach.
Centre for Gender Equity and Equality
The Centre for Gender Equity and Equality is in place to promote gender equity and equality (GEE) in the SUSL where all students, academic, administrative and support staff, female and male, enjoy equal opportunities, human rights, and are free from all forms of dis crimination and harassment. It is responsible for preparing the Policy Framework for Gender Equity and Equality of SUSL and providing training on GEE for the SUSL personnel.
Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Community Studies
The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Community Studies was established with the aim of providing facilities for those who are interested in postgraduate studies in indigenous knowledge and community studies. Accordingly, the centre has introduced three courses of study, namely Postgraduate Diploma (PGD), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). It also hosts an e-journal, Akyana (Narrations), dedicated to publish scholarly and research work in indigenous knowledge and community studies.
Career Guidance Unit
The Career Guidance Unit was established in April 1998 on the initiative of the UGC and its primary objectives are to ensure maximum employability of graduates with minimum waiting time period through proper guidance and improve qualities that enable them to achieve successful future careers.
Internal Quality Assurance Unit
The primary task of the Internal Quality Assurance Unitis to safeguard academic standards and quality of higher education qualifications and to inform and encourage continuous improvement in the management of the quality of higher education in the university.It oversees quality assurance for all teaching and learning processes, student support and institutional development. This unit ensures that the SUSL operates in conformity with the Sri Lanka Qualification Framework (SLQF) and academic standards and accreditation set forth by the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council of Sri Lanka
University Business Linkage Cell
The leading responsibility of the University Business Linkage Cell is to link the university research and innovation activities with external business stakeholders. It strives to bridge the gap between private and state-owned businesses, the academic community, faculties and undergraduates. It liaises with the industrial sector by facilitating, supporting, analysing, negotiating, organising, documenting, planning and monitoring functions according to its portfolio, with the aim of achieving its objectives.