The Open University was formed by amalgamating the two institutions, Sri Lanka Institute of Distance Education (SLIDE) and the External Services Agency ( ESA) which offered degree courses in various subjects.
The Open University was officially opened on the 1st of August 1980 by the late Honorable President, J.R. Jayawardena.
At that time it was housed in the curriculum center at Buller’s Road, Colombo 07 and later came into residence at Nawala in a temporary building. The first Vice Chancellor was Prof. P.D. Gunatilake.
The Open University of Sri Lanka had initially only two Boards of Study. The Board of Study for Humanities and Social Sciences and the Board of Study for Management, Science and Technology.
Board of Study had academic advisory committees which may also include persons other than members of the Board. The branches of the learning in the Board of Study for Humanities and Social Sciences were:
Humanities and Social Sciences
The branches of the learning in the Board of Study for Management, Science and Technology were:
- Management Studies and Commerce
- Pure Science and Mathematics; and
- Applied Science and Technology
In 1990, HSS was recognized as one faculty, under the Open University and it had these departments:
- Legal Studies
- Language Studies
- Management Studies
- Social Studies
There were few number of staff members at the beginning of the faculty of HSS.
Changes of Deans from the start of Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Prof. (Mrs.) Kotalawala
- Prof (Mrs.) R. Raheem
- Prof. D.A. Kotalawele
- Prof. (Mrs.) Goonawardena
- Prof. Upali Vidanapathirana
- Prof. S. Ranasinghe
- Dr. K.B.A. Silva
- Dr. B.M.P. Mendis
- Pro. Camena Guneratne - (At Present)
Department of Education was separated out as one Faculty from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences on February 1st 2003.
Now the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty has the largest number of students over 10,000 enrolled into the different study programmes of the four departments.