The 20 acre new Faculty complex of the Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura built with an investment of Rs. 3.5 Billion was ceremoniously opened for student use on the 08th of June 2020 at Pitipana under the patronage of the Honourable Prime Minister, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse, and the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Bandula Gunawardene.
In honour of the event, a commemorative stamp was launched by the Department of Posts Sri Lanka to celebrate the opening of the first Faculty of Technology. The first day cover of the stamp was ceremoniously handed over to the Honourable Prime Minister by the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation.
The Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura is widely known as the first Faculty of Technology in Sri Lanka. Since its inception in 1873 University of Sri Jayewardenepura then known as the Vidyodaya Pirivena has been a pioneer of sorts. The glorious history of the University boasts of being the first university in the country post-independence.
The University of Sri Jayewardenepura has always had the nation’s best interests at heart. Vidodaya University established the most Venerable Welivitye Sri Soratha Thero in 1959 was the first University in the country to provide vernacular education (Sinhala/Tamil) this opened the doors for those who were now leaving schools having gained vernacular education. Similarly, when the Technology stream was thus introduced to the Advanced Level curriculum in 2013; the University of Sri Jayewardenepura was the first to lay the foundation to create a Faculty that will facilitate students who complete their Advanced level Examinations through the Technology Stream.
As the Chairman, University Grants Commission stated in his speech, Faculty of Technology in many ways pays homage to the legacy left behind by the forefathers of the University, the most Venerable Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thero and Ven. Weliwitiye Sri Soratha Thero
Minister of Higher Education,Technology and Innovation, Hon. Bandula Gunawardene in his address to the audience fondly reminisced the role played by Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse, the Honorable Prime Minister who was at the time the First person of the Country. Hon. Minister Bandula Gunawardene in narrating his vision for the introduction of the Technology stream stated that he identified that over 50% of the students entering state universities graduate with Arts degrees, which did not match the requirement of the modern job market. Therefore, he stated that it was necessary to introduce a fourth stream that will provide students with more options of learning. In this remarkable journey which was expedited by the leadership at that time in the country, was welcomed by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura helping the vision to become a practical reality.
The establishment process of the Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura initiated in 2013 under the leadership of the former Vice-Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne was continued rigorously by the preceding Vice-Chancellors of the University, Sr. Prof. Sampath Amaratunge and Sr. Prof. Sudantha Liyanage (acting) so as to ensure that the students of the Faculty be given the chance to experience the best the University has to offer through the Faculty. The New Faculty complex, which was constructed as a joint venture of Maga Engineering PLC and Engineering Consultants (Pvt.) Ltd. Was completed three months ahead of the proposed time thus enabling the visions of all those involved.
In her welcome address Dr. Renuka Nilmini, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Technology stated that the new faculty complex would provide students with 26 lecture halls, 48 laboratories and 1 state-of-the-art auditorium. The Faculty complex brings forth a new concept of education to the existing system of higher education in Sri Lanka. Sr. Prof. Sudantha Liyanage in his address stated that the new concept followed in the construction of the Faculty complex stems from the age-old value of togetherness. He stated that both he the former Dean of the Faculty of Technology Prof. Manadawala was in the view that the Faculty complex of the Faculty of Technology should be designed to enhance the collaborative spirit within staff and students.
The Faculty complex comprises of five buildings each designated to a specific task: One building will be dedicated for the conducting of lectures of all the departments of the Faculty, thereby providing staff and students space to collaborate more with those of other departments. A building will be dedicated for practical scessions using laboratory facilities and two buildings will house the academic and administration staff. Furthermore, the Faculty’s 628 capacity Auditorium is housed in a separate building. In addition to these facilities, the Faculty will provide its students Library facilities with the use of the best technologies available.
It was mentioned by a Consultant of the Faculty of Technology, Prof. Sudarshan Seneviratne that there was more in the pipeline in terms of development within the Faculty. A proposal to build a smart Museum for Science and Technology and Biodiversity garden was presented at the opening of the Faculty complex.