Dr Kumudu Jayawardhana
Lecturer, Faculty of Management, Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka.
(Uva Wellassa University General Convocation will be held on March 25, 2022 at Magam Ruhunupura International Convention Center (MRICC), Hambantota)
Uva Wellassa University (UWU) provides evidence that depth of impact matters rather than length of story. Being a very young national university established in 2005 and located in Badulla, its main objective is to offer suitable study programs to increase the depth of knowledge, skills, attitudes and skills of students in the management of the tendency constant social change – the economic complexities of the local and global economy.
Presently, UWU has evolved to be well established with four academic faculties – Faculty of Management, Faculty of Applied Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture and Faculty of Technological Studies which is the newest addition to the UWU family. Considering the academic mission, these academic institutions currently offer 15 undergraduate programs, graduate-level research programs, master’s programs, professional courses, and short courses.
The UWU is set to mark another historic milestone with its 11th General Convocation to be held on March 25, 2022 at Magam Ruhunupura International Convention Centre, Hambantota.
Our education model – A conceptual innovation in higher education
The UWU has been nothing less than another defining feat of the modern higher education landscape since its inception under the leadership of the First Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Chandra Embuldeniya. Spearheading in the right direction, the university has been a resounding achievement under the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jayantha Lal Ratnasekera, with his leadership style by example.
What are the factors that make the UWU educational model unique? Why is it considered a conceptual model of innovation in higher education?
Seizing the gap on the noticeable separation between academic education and real market needs, our courses are designed to be market-driven, which, in turn, creates well-rounded graduates equipped with the professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and ethics. appropriate, able to effectively handle the complexities in the real world scenario. Thus, the core of our educational model is to meet real-world needs without compromising academic excellence. Following the pillars of our education model undeniably gives UWU a competitive edge in the higher education landscape.
Living the university
Vision – Just another shot?
Our study programs offered by all respective faculties are guided by a vision, “to add value to the national resource base”. Thus, our vision is not just another cliché, but rather a beacon. It is firmly anchored and linked to the core of all our study programs, which has led particular faculties to offer study programs in specific areas that could add immense value to the existing national resource base. The previous section provides additional evidence on the facet of market-focused curriculum provision. So, it’s ambitious and realistic!
Putting entrepreneurship at the heart
Creating entrepreneurial graduates is central to all of our study programs. Thus, all degree programs are designed to educate our students on the discipline through courses such as entrepreneurship, new product development, new business creation, IPRs and commercialization while maintaining a supportive culture. new experiences among students. So far, the results have been remarkable.
Extending our promise to the university student as well as the community at large, UWU provides a supportive floor for well-established businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to find lasting solutions to their problems. It has adopted several approaches to promote entrepreneurship among undergraduate students and the community at large. Among all these initiatives to promote entrepreneurship, the role of our university liaison and social enterprise incubation unit is essential, as these arms of popularization of knowledge proactively contribute to training generations of entrepreneurs in the creative minds capable of skillfully transforming challenges into business opportunities.
Education without silos
The UWU is a living icon in the country, which proves how “silo-less” education could work. Promoting insularity among graduates, the silo mentality forces universities to be very attentive to their study territories, which is a plague when it comes to creating a generation of graduates capable of competently managing the problems of the real world. Recognizing this scenario well, the UWU has honed its culture to cultivate effective cross-collaborations and mingling between various academic faculties and departments, which has unquestionably dynamited and broken academic silos. Subsequently, rather than building academic programs on selected and narrow fiefdoms, cross-faculty learning is strongly integrated into all our undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Moreover, connection and collaboration are an integral part of our strategy. We believe our development depends on the quality ecosystem we can create through our relationships and collaborations, as they bring together talent and resources to turn real-world challenges into entrepreneurial opportunities. And, UWU holistically follows this practice as it achieves its goal – Creating well-rounded leaders in the respective fields.
Focus on essential skills and general general education
The 21st century has defined a different set of challenges, which means that training a different set of skills has been very important in shaping generations of college communities to meet real-world challenges. These skills refer to the knowledge, life skills, job skills, habits, and traits that help students navigate from their student life into the job market.
The core focus of life skills and UWU’s broad general education pillar provide an effective foundation for promoting these skills. Thus, improving essential skills for undergraduates is no longer just another cliche at UWU. Rather than being a complementary cliché, this constituent is firmly anchored at the heart of our curricula. Regardless of the discipline of study, all undergraduate students at UWU are required to complete required course units from our two specific study pillars – Essential Skills and General General Education. While the Essential Skills pillar focuses on developing analytical skills, quantitative reasoning skills, mathematical skills, communication skills and English language skills of undergraduate students, the “Extended General Education” pillar focuses on creating responsible citizens with its specific course units such as ethics, law basics, history and geography.
The university creates an environment for our graduates to thrive as young scholars and professionals. This is accomplished via several fronts. Enhancing a positive research culture, creating blended models with industries where students can gain hands-on experience with practical issues, facilitating numerous student clubs enabling students to have a quality life are some of these initiatives.
The group about to be crowned
The general convocation of UWU will take place on March 25, 2022, when bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees will be awarded. The bachelor’s degrees that will be awarded in the 11th convocation by the respective academic institutions of UWU are as follows.
Greetings from the UWU family!
The rising graduate rate and employability rate further postulate that UWU is an effective game changer in the higher education landscape. From its humble beginnings with just five undergraduate programs in 2005, it has grown into an institution offering 15 undergraduate programs in various disciplines, several postgraduate programs, professional courses and short courses. UWU has made a bold commitment to participate in adding value to the national resource base, which inspires the university to change direction and evolve.
So it’s time to celebrate the empowerment triumph of another skilled generation that can competently master real-world problems and challenges. The UWU family wishes them the best in their future endeavours!