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CVCD Conference 2015

Conference Theme: Trends in Higher Education
13th and 14th November 2015 @ The Blue Water Hotel, Wadduwa


Day 1 – 13th November 2015

9.00        Inauguration

  • Lighting of the traditional oil lamp
  • National Anthem
  • Welcome address by Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam, Chairperson, CVCD
  • Address by Prof. Mohan de Silva, Chairman, University Grants Commission
  • Address by Mr. D.C. Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education & Highways
  • Address by Hon. Mohan Lal Grero, State Minister of Higher Education
  • Address by Hon.Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education & Highways
  • Address by His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena

10.00      Refreshment break

Session 1 – Chair – Prof. Ananda Jayawardane, Vice-Chancellor, Moratuwa University

10.30      Keynote Address – Changing landscape of higher education

Prof. B.V.R. Chowdari – Executive Director, National University of Singapore

11.30      Discussion

11.45      Expanding role of universities in nation building and economic development

Mr. Ravi Fernando – Operations Director, Malaysia Blue Ocean Strategy Institute

12.15      Discussion

12.30      Flexible course delivery and potential of open and distance education

Dr. Ishan Abeywardena – Adviser, Open Educational Resources,

The Commonwealth of Learning

13.00      Discussion

13.15      Lunch

Session 2 – Chair – Prof. Sampath Amaratunge, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Jayewardenepura University

14.00      Financial autonomy for higher education

Prof. Malik Ranasinghe, Member, University Grants Commission

14.30      Discussion

14.45      Session for sponsors

15.00      Panel Discussion – Theme – Trends in higher education and strategic direction for state universities


Prof. Uma Coomaraswamy, Competent Authority/Eastern University

Prof. S.A. Ariadurai, Vice-Chancellor, Open University

Panel Members:

Prof. P.S.M. Gunaratne – Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission

Prof. Lakshman Dissanayaka – Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo

Prof. Narada Warnasuriya –Senior Professor of Paediatrics, Kotelawala Defence University and Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Dr. Harsha Subasinghe – Founder and CEO, Codegen International (Pvt) Ltd

Dr. Gamika Prathapasingha – Head/Department of Livestock and Avian Sciences, Wayamba University

15.45      Refreshments break

16.00      Group work (6 groups – please see the topics below)

17.30      Close – Day 1


Day 2 – 14th November 2015

8.30        Group photograph of participants

Session 3 – Chair – Prof. Sumithra Jayasekera, Vice-Chancellor, Wayamba University

9.00        Keynote Address –UGC’s vision for 21st century higher education and expectations from the state universities

Prof. Mohan De Silva – Chairman, University Grants Commission

10.00      Discussion

10.15      Innovative and enterprising universities

Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger, Director, School of Entrepreneurship Promotion and Training, University of Leipzig, Germany

10.45      Discussion

11.00      Refreshment break

Session 4 – Chair – Prof. Gamini Senanayake, Vice-Chancellor, Ruhuna University

11.30      From teaching universities to research universities

Prof. Priyan Dias, National Research Council

12.00      Discussion

12.15      Aligning university governance, autonomy and accountability to meet the challenges of higher education trends

Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake – Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo

12.45      Discussion

13.00      Lunch

Session 5 – Chair – Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam, Chairperson, CVCD


Prof. Ranjith Wijayawardane, Vice-Chancellor, Rajarata University

Prof. M.M.M. Najim, Vice-Chancellor, South Eastern University

14.00      Group presentations

15.30      Key points – Prof. Ananda Jayawardane, Vice-Chancellor, University of Moratuwa

15.45      Refreshments and close

Working Group Topics (to be discussed during latter part of Session 2)
(Group members will be informed in advance)

  1. Retaining the competitive advantage of the state sector higher education
  2. Promoting multi-disciplinary research
  3. Ranking of universities – to what extent, at what cost for what benefits?
  4. Challenges for internationalization and strategies to overcome
  5. Making state universities innovative and enterprising
  6. Education ensuring social responsibility