The University of Ruhuna has, for more than three decades, been dedicated to its mission to advance knowledge and skills through teaching, research and services to serve the society and to convey the generated knowledge to new generations of students. Both staff and students take pride in having contributed to the University of Ruhuna’s reputation as one of the Sri Lanka’s flagships known for the excellence of its teaching, research, and service to the local, national and international communities. Therefore, with great pride, I assumed duties as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ruhuna with effect from 9th March 2013.
Being the only academic and research centre in the Southern Province in Sri Lanka, in addition to the normal functions of a national university, I believe University of Ruhuna must play a leadership role in the development initiatives in the region. From the ancient times “Region of Ruhuna” has been a cradle of scholars, intellectuals and artistes. These scholars with the help of the Buddhist philosophy and the eastern culture have generated a massive indigenous knowledge base within the region. Since this knowledge base has developed and carefully selected through rigorous field testing, using trial and error technique over thousands of years, it has its own sustainable solutions for the current social, environmental and spiritual issues which so called western science has no answers. On the other hand, with the development of modern science a deep spiritual crisis has initiated in the west that has led to an irrecoverable split between the theistic religious faith and scientific reason. At this juncture, Eastern Wisdom based on the atheistic philosophy of Buddhism has the ability to play the role of an "alternative altar" or a bridge to reunite the worlds of matter and spirit estranged due to the certain concepts of modern science. Therefore, University of Ruhuna has a prime responsibility being located on a land historically renowned for intellectuals to research on the eastern wisdom to satisfy post-Darwinian needs of religious beliefs grounded in new scientific ‘truth’.
To achieve the above target, University of Ruhuna has more than 400 highly qualified academics and over 7000 on-campus students. This academic staff provides instruction to students in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, Pure Sciences, Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Sciences, Management Studies, Medicine and Engineering and guidance to undertake research in those fields. We are continuously reassessing ourselves and our programs in order to develop and improve courses for meeting the ever-changing demands of the world and for preparing students for high professional standards. At present over 800 students are registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies for postgraduate studies.
Hence, my vision in the role of Vice Chancellor is to provide creative, dynamic, strong, transparent and visionary leadership to make the University of Ruhuna the prime intellectual thrust of the nation and a catalyst in the regional development while being a facilitator of academic initiatives and mediator and conciliator in crisis situations.
Professor Gamini Senanayake