|Motto||Sarvasya locanam śāstram|
Sanskrit: "Knowledge is the eye unto all."
|Established||1942, dissolved 1972|
|Campus||University of Colombo Vidyodaya University (University of Sri Jayawardanapura)|
The University of Ceylon was the only university in Sri Lanka (earlier Ceylon) from 1942 until 1972. It had several constituent campuses at various locations around Sri Lanka. The University of Ceylon Act No. 1 of 1972, replaced it with the University of Sri Lanka which existed from 1973 to 1978. In 1978 it was separated into four independent universities. These are the University of Colombo, the University of Peradeniya, University of Kelaniya (Vidyalankara University) and the University of Sri Jayawardanapura (Vidyodaya University).
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Agitation for the provision of higher education in the island and for the establishment of a University began by the mid 19th century. This agitation gathered momentum by the beginning of the 20th century and the Ceylon University Association, formed in 1906 by Sir James Peiris, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam and Sir Marcus Fernando with some other modern/western educated elite, urged the establishment of a national University.Owing to the persistent demands of the Association the government decided in 1913 to set up a University College affiliated to the University of London.
However, indecision regarding the nature and status of the institution to be set up, its location, and eventually the intervention of the First World War hindered further progress and it was only in 1920 that the government purchased a private building called the "Regina Walauwa" which came to be known as "College House" for the purpose of setting up the University College. The Ceylon University College was formally declared open in January 1921 in the building that was originally the main building of Royal College located on Thurstan Road opposite College House.
From its inception, the University College was regarded as only a preliminary step, a half-way house, the ultimate goal being the establishment of a fully fledged degree granting University. The University of Ceylon was established on 1 July 1942 by the Ceylon University Ordinance No.20 of 1942 by amalgamating the Ceylon Medical College and the Ceylon University College.
The first official announcement of the creation of a separate University in Colombo was made in Parliament in the Throne Speech of 1967. The necessary legislation for this purpose had been prepared by the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs under section 34 of the Higher Education Act No. 20 of 1966 on the recommendation of the National Council of Higher Education. The new University which came into existence on 1 October 1967 with the Colombo Campus as its nucleus had initially a student population of nearly 5000 reading for degrees in Arts, Law, the Sciences and Medicine and a teaching staff of nearly 300.
The University of Ceylon Act No. 1 of 1972, which replaced the Higher Education Act of 1966 altered the complexion of the hitherto familiar University structure. The four independent autonomous universities (University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, University of Ceylon, Colombo, Vidyodaya University of Ceylon and Vidyalankara University of Ceylon) which had been set up by then and the Ceylon College of Technology at Katubedda became Campuses of a single University styled the University of Sri Lanka. Its headquarters designated "Senate House" was located in Colombo. This arrangement did not last very long. With the promulgation of the Universities Act. No 16 of 1978, University status was again restored to the Campuses and the Colombo Campus of the University of Sri Lanka was renamed the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, the name and style by which it is known today.
The University of Colombo is a public research university located primarily in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is the oldest institution of modern higher education in Sri Lanka. Specialised in the fields of natural, social, and applied sciences as well as mathematics, computer sciences, and law. It is ranked among the top 10 universities in South Asia.
The University of Kelaniya is a state university in Sri Lanka. Just outside the municipal limits of Colombo, in the city of Kelaniya, the university has two major campuses, seven locations, six faculties and four institutions.
Ceylon Medical College was a public medical school in Ceylon. The college was established in 1870 as the Colombo Medical School. The college was based in Colombo. The college was merged with Ceylon University College in 1942 to form the University of Ceylon. The medical college became the university's faculty of medicine. The college was also known as Colombo Medical College.
The University of Peradeniya is a state university in Sri Lanka, funded by the University Grants Commission. It is the largest university in Sri Lanka, which was originally established as the University of Ceylon in 1942. The university was officially opened on 20 April 1954 in the presence of H. M. Queen Elizabeth II by H. R. H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The University of Sri Jayewardenepura is a university in Sri Lanka. It is in Gangodawila, Nugegoda, near Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the capital city. It was formed in 1958 out of the Vidyodaya Pirivena, a Buddhist educational centre which was founded in 1873 by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera.
Mapatunage James "M. J." Perera was a Sri Lankan civil servant with nine members in his family in Udumulla, Padukka. He created broadcasting history by being the first Ceylonese Director General of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia, taking over the helm from John Lampson of the BBC.
The University of Sri Lanka was a public university in Sri Lanka. Established in 1972 by amalgamating the four existing universities, it was the only university in Sri Lanka from 1972 until 1978. The university was based at six campuses in Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya, Moratuwa and Jaffna. The university was dissolved in 1978 and its six campuses became independent universities.
Charles Henry de Soysa, JP was a Ceylonese entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was a pioneering planter, industrialist and was the wealthiest Ceylonese of the 19th century. He was instrumental in the establishment of the first Ceylonese bank, the Moratuwa carpenters guild, the Ceylon Agricultural and National Associations. He is widely regarded as the greatest philanthropist of the island for contributions which includes the De Soysa Maternity Hospital, the Prince and Princess of Wales Colleges, St. Matthias Church, the Model Farm Experimental Station and many other institutions and acts of charity, establishing infant-maternal healthcare and secular education for girls in the country. He would have been the island's first Knight Bachelor, but having died prior, his widow was given the rare honor of the use of the style and dignity of wife of the Knight Bachelor and was known as Catherine, Lady de Soysa.
The Sri Lanka University Games are a multi-sporting event held between public universities in Sri Lanka.
Deshamanya Nissanka Parakrama Wijeyeratne, known as Nissanka Wijeyeratne, was a Sri Lankan politician, civil servant, diplomat and English language poet. He was also the Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy from 1975 to 1985. At the time of death he was serving as the chairman of The Law and Society Trust in Sri Lanka.
Sir James Peiris was a prominent leader in the Sri Lankan independence movement, the first elected Vice-President of the Legislative Council of Ceylon and the first native Governor of Ceylon (Acting).
The Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya is one of the eight academic faculties at the university. It is the oldest engineering faculty in Sri Lanka. It offers full-time Undergraduate Courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.Sc.Eng.), and several postgraduate degrees.
The University of Peradeniya library is a centrally administered network of libraries in the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. It is considered the oldest academic library in Sri Lanka and one of the largest libraries in Sri Lanka today.
University of Colombo library is a centrally administered network of libraries in University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is home to one of the largest and oldest collections in Sri Lanka, with its roots dating back to 1870 with the establishment of the library of the Ceylon Medical College.
Ceylon University College was a public university college in Ceylon. Established in 1921, it was Ceylon's first attempt at university education. The college didn't award degrees under its own name but prepared students to sit the University of London's external examination. The college was based in Colombo. The college was merged with Ceylon Medical College in 1942 to form the University of Ceylon. The college was also known as University College, Ceylon; University College, Colombo; and Colombo University College. Its buildings and grounds are now occupied by the University of Colombo which is considered its successor.
The University of Colombo currently has seven faculties with 41 academic departments and two interdependent schools with five academic departments. All faculties and schools carries out courses of study and research in both graduate and undergraduate studies. In addition, the university has several institutions that specialize in different areas of research.
Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya is the largest single faculty in the entire university system of Sri Lanka.
The Vidyodaya Pirivena was one of the prominent piriven in Sri Lanka. It was founded in 1873 by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera and later in 1959, the pirivena was granted the university status by the Government of Sri Lanka.
Higher education in Sri Lanka is an optional final stage of formal learning following secondary education. Higher education, also referred to as tertiary education occurs most commonly universities or degree-granting institutions. These may be public universities, public and private degree-granting institutions which award their own degrees or degrees from foreign universities. High visibility issues include limited capacity of public universities to cater for the demand and opposition to private universities from certain segments.