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.