Dean of Universal College Lanka (UCL) discusses the successful transition of Monash College partnership in Sri Lanka and the
excellent performance of current students
Universal College Lanka (UCL) in partnership with Monash College Australia launched the Monash University
Foundation Year (MUFY) and the Diploma programs in Jan 2016 with the vision of providing a guaranteed
pathway for Sri Lankan students to enter into one of globally ranked top-100, and certainly one of the best
universities to study in Australia Monash University. June 2016 marked the completion of 1
term for the first
batch of students; hence it is time to review the status of this partnership and reasons for outstanding
performance of the students.
Following is an interview with Dr. Dhananjay Kulkarni (DK), Dean of Academic Affairs at UCL.
Q: UCL has completed its first term. How well did the UCL students perform?
DK: I am delighted to inform you that UCL has had excellent performance for the first term! UCL has a 100% pass rate in most
units, and overall these pass rates are also better than all Monash College partners around the world. Students have been very
focused, thanks to the support and guidance provided by the lecturers and the positive environment for studies. Since student
care is a priority, even weak students have been provided with extra support and this has helped improve overall performance. As
the Dean, I am very happy and proud of our exception achievements in the 1
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the UCL-Monash partnership in Sri Lanka?
DK: UCL is the brainchild of the three founders - South Asian businessman Mr. 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 Mr. Zarif Munir. CEO is Mr. Lasantha De Silva. As you
might be aware Monash College, a wholly owned subsidiary of Monash University, is the largest single provider of students to the
University. In Sri Lanka, Monash is in an exclusive partnership with UCL to provide pathways for students to join Monash
University. The beautiful UCL campus is located right by the Diyawanna Oya in Rajagiriya. Upon completion of the Foundation year
(MUFY) or the Diploma program here in Sri Lanka, the students may join Monash in Australia or Malaysia.
Q: What are UCL’s strengths in the market, especially to help students succeed?
DK: UCL has a strong academic and industry pedigree with a unified vision to provide highest
quality education. Several strengths are visible when you visit our campus, which has led to a
growing trend among students to choose UCL. Our strengths include - Close contact with the
Monash College team in Melbourne and here in Colombo; lecturers with international
experience in their respective fields, small class sizes (maximum of 25) with individual attention
to specific learning needs, modern teaching techniques, with student-care being a priority, a picturesque lake-side location in the
capital city which is easily accessible, state-of-the-art facilities including modern Engineering, IT laboratories and library, in line
with Monash specifications, scholarship for high-achievers, prefects and national-level sports. I invite all prospective students and
parents to come and see the campus and meet our staff.
Q: Your Lecture panel is impressive. Can you tell us about their backgrounds and experience?
DK: Our lecturers are top-class! All are either PhD or MSc/MBA qualified and have either studied or taught at reputed US, UK or
Australian Universities. Lecturers are hired after a rigorous interview process, and officially confirmed by Monash College, and
hence, we are confident at the outset itself that the students will receive the best possible support and guidance. We have about
10 full-time staff, and a pool of reputed visiting lecturers. You may check their research and teaching backgrounds on our website
Q: This is a difficult one what makes Monash program at UCL different from
DK: UCL is a very special place for students and staff, especially since Monash is in
the world’s Top 100 list. Also all universities in Australia accept the Monash
foundation qualification at entry level. Students are provided with a choice of
subjects at foundation level and Diploma level that are specific to successfully
completing their chosen destination degree. Also, this makes us different: the key strengths or call it ingredients for success being
present together in one location!
Q: Your team likes to challenge itself to become the best. How do you assure academic quality?
DK: Yes, we have a good team and we keep improving every day! We envision on becoming one of the top-education providers in
the country, matching world-class teaching and learning standards. Backed by our current strengths, this is a realistic goal since
we give high priority to what is necessary for higher education focus on high quality of teaching, student guidance, facilities,
considering student/parents feedback for improvements, hiring the best lecturers, enriching the learning experience and having
close contact with Monash College in Melbourne.
Q: Last one what are the key factors that have contributed to the successful transition of Monash College partnership in Sri
DK: Well, we do not compromise on academic quality. All key aspects involved for this are in fact regularly monitored by our
Australian counterparts and this ensures students get the same experience they would have in Australia, with the advantage of
being close to home. We have a happy bunch of students and highly committed faculty at UCL, and we are confident of providing
continued support and facilities to all students - to chase and achieve their dreams!
Write to UCL on or contact us on 0774 777 000 for further information. You are also welcome to visit us at UCL #503,
Sri Jayewardenepura Mawatha, Rajagiriya