Bringing the best of British Education to Sri Lanka,
UCL partners with University of Central Lancashire, UK
In a formal event held recently in Colombo, Universal College Lanka signed an agreement with University of Central
Lancashire UK with the view of bringing the best of UK education to the Sri Lankan youth. The new partnership will open
opportunities in Undergraduate and Postgraduate education with a distinct interest on Research.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the “Institution for the Diffusion of
Knowledge.” Today UCLan is one of the UK’s largest universities, with a student and staff community approaching 38,000;
it is one of the largest employers in the North West of England.
In 2010 UCLan became the first UK modern university to appear in the QS World University Rankings. In 2016 the Centre
for World University Rankings placed UCLan in the top 3.7 percent of all worldwide universities. UCLan is ranked in the top
1% of universities worldwide for the number of international students it educates. UCLan has been recognized for the first
time as one of the world's top 1000 universities in the 2017 Best Global Universities Rankings published in November 2016
by the American media organization U.S. News & World Report.
Established in 2015, UCL is fully owned by Eduko Lanka (Pvt) Limited. Eduko Lanka was formed by three principals: South
Asian businessman Bob Kundanmal, who heads the Sino Lanka Group of Companies, comprising of hotels, hospitals and
international schools, Gateway Group of Organisations Chairman Dr. Harsha Alles and The Boston Consulting Group
partner and Managing Director Zarif Munir.
With the vision of providing guaranteed pathways for students to enter into globally ranked top universities, UCL has
already secured an exclusive partnership with Monash College Australia and University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
(UNMC). With the current partnerships providing pathway programmes to students in selected various disciplines in
Australia and Malaysia, the latest partnership with UCLan is set to provide completion pathways for students aspiring to
complete undergraduate and postgraduate education in Sri Lanka from a globally reputed UK university.
UCLan's Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas said the strategic partnership with UCL is based on
shared goals with regard to providing students with a unique learning experience within Sri Lanka,
delivered by a highly qualified team of academic staff, delivered in a purpose built modern facility. "It
was clear from my first meeting with members of the UCL board that both our institutions shared a
common understanding," he said. "We are both committed to a holistic partnership that will deliver
undergraduate UCLan courses in Sri Lanka and in the future develop Masters and PhD courses, joint
research project and exchange opportunities for staff and students. UCLan believes in long term
strategic partnerships and is pleased to welcome UCL into our global institutional network that currently provides
opportunities for over 3,500 students to study a UCLan degree within their home country. We are delighted to provide
such opportunities in Sri Lanka in partnership with UCL."
Speaking of the new partnership Dr. Harsha Alles, Director said “The new partnership is in line with
UCL’s vision of bringing the best of global education to Sri Lanka. With UCLan, we will provide completion
pathways to both undergraduate and postgraduate students at an affordable cost, to those in entire
South Asia.” The international reputation of UCLan and their commitment to quality in education fits
very well with the purpose of UCL as we share similar values. With clearly defined plans for the next 5
years, we believe that UCLan and UCL will significantly impact not only Sri Lankan students but those in
the entire South Asia.
Tim Steele, Vice President International Operations said, “It was a great honour to represent the Vice
Chancellor at the official signing ceremony between UCLan and UCL. The partnership is the
accumulation of hard work from staff from both institutions, which will see UCL become UCLan’s
strategic partner in Sri Lanka. Both institutions are committed to providing our future students with a
unique learning experience, and already have plans to further expand the provision to include Masters and PhD provision,
and will be encouraging joint research projects between UCL and UCLan’s UK Campus in Preston and our Branch Campus
in Cyprus. We look forward to welcoming out first undergraduate students in September 2017 as we strive to be the
leading provider in partnership with UCL in Sri Lanka.”
The CEO of UCL, Mr. Lasantha De Silva at the launch event said, “UCL is about Forging Partnerships
and Shaping Futures. We strive to offer the best education in the Sri Lankan education market,
through unique partnerships creating an unmatched opportunity, not limited to the Sri Lankan youth
but also to the youth of South Asia. Sri Lanka is rapidly becoming the education hub in the region;
UCL believes that Sri Lanka needs to educate its youth to be highly competent and skilled who can
contend with the best and the brightest in the world. Thus inimitable foreign partnerships with
prestigious research institutions that have thrived to be the best in the world were agreed to as a
part of the solution. Both UCL and UCLan share same values in the way in which we operate and this partnership in the
years to come, undoubtedly will bring great education opportunities in reaching one’s career aspirations with a world-
class university in Sri Lanka with UCL.”
Speaking about the partnership, Dr. Dhananjay Kulkarni, the Dean of UCL added, “We aspire to
shape the local education ecosystem in Sri Lanka by grooming top-class graduates, developing
educators with research interests, innovating teaching practices, and driving strong industry
collaborations. Hence with the new partnership, our focus is not only to produce employable
graduates, but get students and staff involved in research and innovation. Since internship creates
the much needed industry-awareness among students, and gives employers also the ability to assess
the student skills, we hope to make it a priority to place students in the best companies in Sri Lanka.
High quality education, along with research and sought-after placement opportunities is rare in Sri Lankan private higher
education and hence we focus on differentiating ourselves. Our graduates will be the leaders and future innovators. While
providing further insight, Dr. Dhananjay added, With our eyes set on a long term plan in rolling out the various degree
programmes, we are currently working with the schools of Computing and Business at UCLan to launch selected
programmes in early 2017. We are confident of creating a unique learning experience to the aspiring students, drawing
upon the strengths we currently exhibit at UCL strong academic and industry pedigree, lecturers with international-level
teaching and research experience, rigor for academic and research excellence, and student support and guidance being
given a top priority.”
UCL Management team present at the event. (L to R) Mr. Ashwaq Ahmed - Head of Marketing & Student Enrollment
(UCL), Mr. Lasantha De Silva - CEO (UCL), Mr. Bob Kundanmal Chairman Eduko Lanka (Pvt) Limited, Mr. Tim Steele, Vice
President International Operations (UCLan), Mrs. Nishani De Silva - COO (UCL), Dr. Dhananjay Kulkarni - Dean (UCL)
Opening doors to those students aspiring to complete their higher education qualifications from a reputed UK university
right here in Sri Lanka, this partnership provides an opportunity for you to embark on your dream at an affordable price
while experiencing the same quality of education and learning experience. With quality assurance being the core of UCL, a
highly qualified and experienced panel of lecturers and a state-of-the-art facility in Colombo, the student’s learning
experience at UCL will gear them to be world-class professionals.
Write to UCL on info@ucl.lk or contact us on 0774 777 000 for further information. You are also welcome to visit us at UCL
#503, Sri Jayewardenepura Mawatha, Rajagiriya.