With demand for higher education in Sri Lanka outstripping supply, the partnership is being closely monitored by the country’s government. Indeed, the graduation brochure for the Plymouth event carried no less than seven introductions from heads of state and government leaders, including the President and Prime Minister.
NSBM is taking steps to meet that extra demand by creating a 26-acre green campus in Homogama, which will enable the school to enrol up to 30,000 students, and will contain in-house supermarkets, banking facilities, and business centres.
Mr Rathnayake says: “The Green Campus is a Rs. 10.2 billion investment, and seeks not only to provide an unmatched academic experience but also to set the backdrop for an authentic university life. And we see many potential benefits, from elevating the quality and level of education in Sri Lanka to new heights comparable with those in the developed world, to retaining Sri Lankan students and attracting overseas students to the country. We hope it will contribute towards establishing Sri Lanka as a seat of learning in South Asia.”
With new courses under discussion, not to mention interest being expressed in our marine and maritime expertise, there is potentially an even greater role that Plymouth might play in Sri Lanka in the future.
“Graduation was the culmination of years of hard work, and was a celebration that was shared by the students, the parents, and the two institutions,” says Professor Simon Payne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and strategic lead for the University’s international partnerships. “It’s a very important strategic partnership for the University, and interesting stories are beginning to emerge from our presence here. People have taken notice of us.”