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The Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science (SAKURA Exchange Program in Science) is the forum for enhancing exchanges between Asian and Japanese youth who will play a crucial role in the future of science and technology. This program is a close collaboration of the industry-academia-government and facilitates short-term visits of competent Asian youth to Japan. Further, it aims to raise the interest of Asian youth toward benefitting from latest trends in Japanese science and technology at Japanese universities, research institutions and private companies. A delegation of 8 undergraduate students and the academic staff member, Dr. B.C.L. Athapattu, from the Department of Civil Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL participated at this exchange program from the 25th February – 07th March 2018 at Okayama University, and Osaka University, Japan. This exposure opened up new vistas of academic possibilities for the OUSL students and helped to create mutual understanding and respect for different cultures.

Left to Right Back Row

1) U.L.S.Yasarathne        2) T.W.L.R.Thalgaspitiya       3) G.L.Jayathunga  

4) H.K.M.Perera             5) G.C.R.Dayarathne                  6) P.A.K. Sameera

7) G.L.E.P. Perera             8) H.M.S.S.Sandarekha

 

Left to Right Front Row

1) M.N.C. Samarawickrama (Head of the Department - Civil Eng.)

2) K.A.C.Udayakumar (Dean Eng. Technology)

3)Prof. S.A. Ariadurai (Vice Chancellor )

4) Dr. Bandunee Athapattu (Senior Lecturer)

                                           (Coordinator of Sakura Project)

 

 

VC Trophy cricket match01

Exciting and nail-biting cricket was the order of the day on 16th and 17th of September 2017 when three die-hard cricket teams from the OUSL vied for the VC Trophy 2017. Three talented cricket teams, namely, Colombo Regional Center Team, Kandy Regional Center Team and All Regional Center Team all clashed in games that saw perseverance and professionalism at their best. CRC Team and the Kandy Regional Centre Team were the finalist and their battle to win the honors was an unforgettable contest. CRC set a mammoth total of 173 for their rival, with Chathura Anjana scoring a dashing 60 and Deshapriya Dissanayaka chipping in with 32. Pasan form Kandy RC harassed the CRC team with bowling figures of 2 for 2. In reply, the Kandy RC could only muster 69 for 7,with Buddhika being their highest scorer with 31 not out. Indika and Buddhika were the tormentors of Kandy RC with three wickets each. T.S Medawatte was adjudged the best batsman of the tournament and Nuwantha Peiris, the best bowler. The score card is as follows:

Colombo Regional Centre : 173 all out. (Chathura Anjana 60, Deshapriya Dissanayaka 32, Pasan 2/2, Nuwantha 2/24, Sandaruwan 1/7)

Kandy Regional Centre: 69/7 (Buddhika 31 no, Indika 3/38, Buddhika 3/43)

VC Trophy cricket match02

VC Trophy cricket match03

VC Trophy cricket match04

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The Education Faculty Offered a 'Short Course on Special Education' in the Maldives, MI College, thus creating a milestone in the history of the OUSL: this is the first time the university offered a course outside Sri Lanka.

This 3-month program saw 12 workshops being conducted for the 10 students who have enrolled for the program  

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The OUSL takes pride in creating another historical milestone in the history of the nation's ODL sector by launching the country's first ODL-facilitated BA in Library and Information Science (LIS). In a world where information and access to information are rapidly altering states due to developments in the IT sector, the space of a Library and the symbolic significance associated with the notions of accessibility, openness, inclusiveness, user paradigm and library research have radically altered forcing the academics to reexamine the discipline of Library and Information Sciences. It is amidst that context that a team from the OUSL Library, headed by Dr. Wathmanel Seneviratne set out to not only reexamine, re-read their own disciplines, but to respond to the evolving professional needs on the market by offering an updated and cutting-edge BA through the ODL platform. This BA was created upon a proposal by the Sri Lanka Library Association whereby the Diplomates of the Association could obtain a competent degree related to their professional skills with a competitive national university.

“Just as much as a library is still a place to read and borrow books, it is also many other things at the same time—a sort of multiple identities for the same entity. That is why we thought of going back to the drawing board and re-examining our own discipline in the light of the radical shifts in the IT landscape as well as learner's own attitudes towards these changes. The BA in LIS is our response to those changes—and it is a labor of love of many dedicated and committed individuals too numerous to mention at this stage,” says Dr. Wathmanel, the Librarian, OUSL.  

The OPEN Quarterly asked her: How does one manage an entity with multiple identities which inevitably encourage multiple expectations? “That is our challenge, and that is what we, the BA in LIS academics and the students seek to explore. Managing multiple identities is a task that is closely bound to identifying such ideas; and one should not forget that those self-same identities would undergo changes with time. The Quantum Computer is on the way, and such innovations will change education attitudes and landscapes. The presence of BA in LIS is a sort of a buffer against such radical alterations—we pause, we identify and we seek.”

The text books of the LIS program were a magnificent undertaking which drew in reputed scholars from abroad who engaged in comprehensive and in-depth research to create the narratives in a student friendly manner. The program is specifically aimed at the professionals who are already engaged in the LIS discipline and will put them through an exhaustive program of study whose individual components range from training in academic discourse to engagement in technology-related subjects to modern research skills. The program will be offered by the HSS Faculty and a separate unit has been established to administer the program. The library shelves are already packed with additional reading materials for the new BA. As the OUSL gears itself for this historical landmark, the Team OUSL Library eagerly await the arrival of the potential skilled librarians of the future in the OUSL classrooms.

          

The Team LIS

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Mannar, the site of an ancient port city, became the newest location to benefit from the regional expansion of the OUSL. The University opened its 18th Study Centre there equipped with spacious classrooms and other amenities. The OUSL VC, Prof. S.A. Ariadurai, DVC Prof. K.B. Gunaherath, Registrar Mrs. Vindya Jayasena and other Senior Academics graced the occasion.  

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The PGIE was successful in its bid for a research grant from the British Council under its Transform Programme -- a multi-country project which attempts to facilitate progressive cultural change and cultural expression through a range of activities including the Arts, Culture and Education. The PGIE applied for this grant in response to a grant call circulated by the Vice Chancellor of the OUSL and was able to secure the highest marks for its proposal on Reconciliation, Arts and Education.

This grant will support a 1-year research project into arts-based reconciliation initiatives in Sri Lanka and their pedagogical implications. The project will investigate the under- researched link between how the arts can contribute to sustainable reconciliation and how these in turn can be mainstreamed through pedagogy. As part of the grant the British Council will also facilitate collaboration between the PGIE and Queens University and Ulster University in Northern Ireland -- leading to a comparative focus to the research study. The study is expected to produce a series of publications and will include a learning and sharing event at the end of the project cycle. This grant allows the PGIE to build on a previous collaboration with the School of Social Political Science of the University of Edinburgh that saw the institute host an innovative "Ideas Lab on Art and Reconciliation" in December 2016.

 

gyrinops walla
The Open University of Sri Lanka has filed four Patents at the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in August 2017. Though the staff and students of the university have filed Patents in the past, this is the first time the OUSL has become an applicant to file Patents.

The filed Patents are concerned with sustainable utilization of endemic plant Gyrinops walla "Walla Patta", the only Agarwood producing species in Sri Lanka. The research team comprised of Prof S. R. Weerakoon (Department of Botany), Dr. S. Somaratne (Department of Botany), Dr. Chandani Ranasinghe (Department of Chemistry) and the post-graduate student Ms. Sachithri Munasinghe (Department of Botany). They have extensively worked on developing biotechnological methods to produce Agarwood which is a highly valuable essential oil used in perfumery and fragrance industry. The plant "Walla Patta" has been declared as a protected species under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance (FFPO) in Sri Lanka in 2004 and internationally by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2005. The newly developed methods will prevent the destructive sampling of "Walla Patta" and help to conserve this endemic plant. As Agarwood oil has a high market value worldwide, these new methods can be used to produce the oil and bring foreign income to the country.

Researches thank Mr. Shantha Yapa of  EPIC Research and Innovation Center and Ms Dilini Rathnayake, Assistant Director of NIPO who conducted a seminar on “ Patent Filing and guidance for the Patent Application process."

cross linked cellulose

A team of senior academics from the OUSL and other senior scientists have filed a patent application for “A process of producing a cross-linked cellulose and acrylic acid grafted super absorbent copolymer using a domestic microwave oven for agricultural applications.” The project team comprised of Prof. S.A Ariadurai - Department of Textile and Apparel Technology, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL, Dr. A.G.B Aruggoda - Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL, Ms. C. K Disanayaka - Deputy Director, Division of Food and Agriculture, Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board , Ms. S. Kulathunge - former Director Gamma Centre, Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board and Ms. T.N Fernando, a PhD student of the Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering, OUSL.

Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) are structurally cross-linked, highly swollen, hydrophilic polymer networks capable of absorbing a large amount of water or aqueous saline solutions, practically 10 to 1000 times of their original weight or volume (Ramazani-Harandi et al., 2006). In the field of agriculture, one major purpose of using SAPs is to aid water sustenance and improve humidity condition of growth media. Further, SAPs are used to increase the water availability to the plant in the growth media, which would enable the plants to survive longer under water stress.

phds

 

J.M.K.S. Goonesekera – Ph.D - Zoology – Faculty of Natural Sciences (Extreme left seated),
M.M.Gunawardhana – M.Phil – Agricultural & Plantation Engineering – Faculty of Engineering Technology – (2nd left)
G.V.N. Aiome – M. Phil - Agricultural & Plantation Engineering – Faculty of Engineering Technology – (3nd left seated),
I.M.P.S. Jayawardena – Ph.D – Physics - Faculty of Natural Sciences (4th left seated)
S.A.D.A.N Dissanayake- M.Phil – Electrical & Computer Engineering - Faculty of Engineering Technology – (5th left)

 

Gold Medalists – 2016

 

D Jayasuriya

J E JAYASURIYA GOLD MEDAL FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE IN POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN EDUCATION-2015

Donated by: Mrs. D Jayasuriya

Awarded to: Miss P. K. Priyanthika

"I appreciate the high standard of education at the OUSL. I gained a lot of experience as an ODL student. In fact it was a refreshing experience being at the OUSL—away from traditional methods of teaching and learning. I hope to continue my studies…and will always remember the OUSL as very human-centered university. "

 

DelikaO.P. KULSHRESHTHA GOLD MEDAL FOR THE BEST STUDENT IN BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY HONOURS IN ENGINEERING-2016

Donated by : Dr. O. P. Kulshreshtha

Awarded to : Mr. W. A. D. M. Weragoda

Bachelor of Technology(Engineering)

"I was unable to enter a conventional university… yet my dream of becoming an Engineer was finally achieved with the OUSL. The beginnings were tough: I had to shift from conventional methods of learning to non-conventional methods. I was a mediocre reader—and here I had to read! Things got better day by day, thanks to some wonderful lecturers. Finally, I was on the right track. I enjoyed the peer learning—or “Kuppi” sessions. The OUSL learning was all-rounded: I learned team work, and the art of organizing events and projects. It was not just walk in the park! But at the end of the day, it was a wonderful chapter in my life and I am really grateful to everyone who was a part of it"

 

SisaraEngineering Research Unit Gold Medal for the Best Technical Paper Based on the Project in Bachelor of Technology Honours in Engineering-2016

Donated by : Engineering Research Unit

Awarded to : Mr. M. S. S. Perera

Bachelor of Technology(Engineering)

“Many factors led to me become a part of this prestigious university: the quality of education, ODL method, the career placement rate, and the fact that the OUSL degrees are UGC approved. In terms of experience, I have no words to articulate my thoughts. In my five years of stay at this university gave me the perfect poise and balance. Perhaps, I cannot put that into better words. So I like to say to everyone: “THINK – DECIDE -APPLY –OUSL.”

 

ClarenceThurairajah Gold Medal for the Best Project in Bachelor of Technology Honours in Engineering & S M Abeygunesekera De Silva Gold Medal for the Best Student in Mechatronics Engineering in Bachelor of Technology Honours in Engineering     

Bachelor of Technology (Engineering)

Donated by : Engineering Research Unit

Donated by : Prof. Clarence W de Silva   

Awarded to : Mr. A. V. V. S. Bandara

“I am delighted to say that I have now completed my B.Tech degree in Mechatronics Engineering at the OUSL. I was unable to enter a conventional university. But I was drawn to the OUSL owing to the ODL system. Here there is good interaction between students from different disciplines. Ability to exchange ideas with students from different disciplines had tremendous impact on my learning experience. I would like to thank my parents, academic and non-academic staff of the OUSL, my batch mates and seniors, for their invaluable help and guidance during the past five years”

 

AnushkaLiyanaguruge Assie Annette De Silva Gold Medal for the Best Student in Agriculture in Bachelor of Industrial Studies Honours - 2016

Donated by : Dr. P. Roshan De Silva

Awarded to : Miss. K. M. A. S. Konara

Bachelor of Industrial Studies

“Graduation is an exciting time—an ending and a beginning; time to reflect on the warm memories of the past and dreams of the future. Thank you OUSL for giving me the opportunity to become a shining star in space and time.”

 

NipunVirtusa Academic Excellence Gold Medal for the Best Student in Bachelor Of Software Engineering Honours - 2016

Donated by : Virtusa Pvt.(Ltd).

Awarded to : Mr. S. A. N. D. Suriyaarachchi

Bachelor of Software Engineering                            

“It was not an easy journey by all means. I began the Bachelor of Software Engineering (BSE) program in November, 2013. I attended all day schools, lab sessions, guest lectures, workshops and other extra-curricular activities. As a result, I did not have to repeat or re-sit courses. While studying I got the opportunity to work at Virtusa Pvt. Ltd as an Associate Engineer and soon became permanently employed. Hence industrial training was exempted. The secret of my success was that I was determined to do my best and I achieved my objectives. The university and my family supported me all the way. If there is a will, there is a way! Believe in yourself, think out of the box, never ever give up under any circumstances and try and try until you achieve your final goal”

 

NadeeshaniAthabasca University Gold Medal for Excellence In BSc Nursing - 2016

Donated by : President, Athabasca University, Canada

Awarded to : Miss P. N. Hewabatage

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Open University - opened the door to accomplish the dream I once missed.

 

ChampikaKrishanthi Wijetunga De Silva Memorial Gold Medal for Law - 2016

Donated by : Ivor Wijetunge

Awarded to : Miss T. C. Indigahawala

Bachelor`S Degree in Laws

 

 

IfrahJawardGamani Corea Gold Medal for the Best Student in BA in Social Sciences & the Anura Goonasekara Gold Medal for the Best Student in Mass Communication in BA in Social Sciences

Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences

Donated by : Asia Foundation of Sri Lanka

Donated by : Mrs. J. Goonasekara

Awarded to : Ms. F. I. Jaward

“My journey at the OUSL can be captured in one phrase: 'life-changing.' I never had second thoughts about pursuing my higher studies at this world-recognized national university. The idea of working and studying was my primary motivator. I succeeded in my scholarly endeavors, and in addition developed my interpersonal skills. All can be attributed to hard work and expert guidance from my lecturers.”

 

FathimaShiranaH. A. D. S. Gunasekera Gold Medal For Excellence in Economics in BA in Social Sciences-2016

Donated by : Prof. S.S.Colombage

Awarded to: Ms. Z. S. H. F. Shirana

Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences

“After finishing my G.C.E A/L examination, I had to make a critical decision about the next step in my life. Being a full time teacher in a reputed international school in Kandy, I was attracted to the ODL method at the OUSL. The ODL helped me immensely. It helped me achieve my academic goals and enhance my personality and character. In addition I was surrounded by comprehensive course materials, talented lecturers, excellent library facilities and gentle green surroundings of the OUSL Kandy Regional Centre. I was lucky to be in a class with students representing different ethnic communities—this broadened my mind and taught me to appreciate and respect diversity.”

 

SafwaFarookGold Medal for the Best Performance in Management Studies - 2016

Donated by : Department of Management Studies

Awarded to : Miss F. S. Farook

Bachelor of Management Studies Degree

“The OUSL is a vast space for learning and gaining wisdom that is timeless."

 

ThushariDB Ellepola Gold Medal For Science-2016

Donated by : Mr. C. Ellepola

Awarded to : Miss N. W. P. T. N. Perera

 

 

 

Prizes – 2016

 

NadeeshaniRoberta L Carey Prize for Excellence in Nursing & Chandra de Silva Memorial Award in Nursing

Donated by: Prof. Roberta L Carey

Donated by: Mr. PLN de Silva

Awarded to: Miss P. N. Hewabatage

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

 

thilakarathneAthulathmudali Prize for Jurisprudence & Placidus Wijeyesekere Memorial Prize for the Best Student in Land Law

Donated by: Lalith Athulathmudali

Donated by: Prof. D S Wijeyesekera

Awarded to: Miss W. G. T. Y. Thilakarathne

Bachelor`s Degree in Laws

 

Faculty of Natural Sciences Prize for the Best Performance in

01. Zoology

TennakoonMiss A. W. G. T. H. M. T. K. Tennakoon

"Selecting OUSL for my higher studies was easy because of the ODL method. Through a mix of self-study, teacher-student interaction, modern text books, practical and field work sessions and virtual learning facilities I was able to enhance my learning experience. The updated collection of books at the library motivated me to spend most of my time there. The degrees offered by the OUSL are well recognized in the government and the private sector. As a result, I was able to get a job opportunity in a private sector multinational laboratory even before the graduation ceremony"

 

02. Botany

KarunasagaraMiss S. S. L. Karunasagara

 

 

 

 

 

03. Chemistry

ShimlaMiss M. N. F. Shimla

"Graduation is not the end of education, but a part of the larger journey of life. The B.Sc. programme taught me many things and enhanced my thinking. Being a student of the OUSL gave each one of us new experiences. It made us more confident; we learned time management and a lot of new skills relevant for life. We reached great heights, and we equipped ourselves with the necessary tools to take on the future."

 

 

04. Physics

DMSKDissanayake

Miss D. M. S. K. Dissanayake

“The OUSL has been a great opportunity for me. I achieved my goals through self-learning and hard work along with proper guidance from my lecturers”

 

 

 

05. Pure & Applied Mathematics

ThushariMiss N. W. P. T. N. Perera

netball 2

OUSL Badminton team took part in the 'SLIIT Shuttle Buds 2017' Badminton Championship which was organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT). The Championship was held from 16th to 17th July 2017 at the SLIIT University indoor Gymnasium. The OUSL team won the championship trophy in the women's event defeating the team from the
National School of Business Management (NSBM). The third place was won by the team SLIIT. The tournament involved the participation over 60 Participants from 10 universities. The OUSL team featured seven undergraduates representing three faculties: Natural Sciences, Engineering Technology and Humanities and Social Sciences

Participants: Uparna Katuwawala (Captain), Chathuri Fernando, Sandunika Petronilda, Chamya Nandasiri, Uvidi Jayasinghe, Savidi Jayasinghe, Sandali Perera

netball team

From left to right-

1st row (standing): Chamya Nandasiri, Chathuri Fernando, Sandali Perera, Uvidi Jayasinghe, Uparna Katuwawala (Captain), Savidi Jayasinghe, Sandunika Petronilda

2nd raw (seated): H.A.A.I Hettiarachchi (Senior Assistant Registrar), Mr.K.P.J.M.Pathirana (Senior Lecturer)-Teacher in charge Badminton

rug

OUSL Rugby team took part in the 'MORA 7'S Rugby tournament which was organized by the University of Moratuwa. The Tournament was held on 21st December 2016 at the Airforce grounds Ratmalana. The OUSL team won 2nd place of the bowl championship.

1st place went to Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC).

The tournament involved over 144 Participants from 12 universities. The OUSL team comprised of 11 undergraduates representing all Faculties.

Participants - Amitha Siriwardane, Tharindu Dhananjana, Randika Weerasekara, Dilshan Gunathilaka, Dilshan Pavithra, Dinesh Liyanage, Sameera Weerasinghe, Kavinda Karunathilake, Sanjeewa Ransinghe, Tharindu Madubhathiya, Sanjaya Jayasundara, Hirantha Athulathmudali

Recognizing the importance of international input in improving learner support at the OUSL, the International Relations Unit (IRU) organized five days of activities for the academics and other stakeholders with the participation of an international scholar, Prof. Ormond Simpson who is an expert in ‘ learner support to increase student retention in ODL.’ These five days of activities started on 29th May 2017 and successfully ended on 2nd June 2017, followed by close interactions and discussions with different stakeholder representatives (students, members of senior management etc.). Two-day outbound residential workshop with 58 academics from all five faculties, Regional Centers and the PGIE, was held on 30th& 31st May 2017 at Tamarind Tree Hotel, Minuwangoda.

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The third lecture of the third Distinguished Lecture Series was organized and conducted in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Centre for Educational Technology and Media (CETMe) and the IT Department on 6th June 2017. Dr. Brian Haas, from University Georgia, USA delivered a lecture titled Meeting of the Minds: A Psychological Perspective on Culture and International Education’. This lecture was live-streamed and the video could be viewed below.

 

DL3 2

The second lecture of the third Distinguished Lecture Series was organized and conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Educational Technology and Media (CETMe) and the IT Department on 1st June 2017. Professor Ormond Simpson, from University of London, UKdelivered a lecture titled ‘The Future of Distance Education’. This lecture was live-streamed and the video could be viewed below.

 

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a common module of study in almost all universities nowadays. Social Entrepreneurship is unique because it uses techniques to develop, fund and implement solutions to social and/or environmental issues. The OUSL completed the first short course on Social Entrepreneurship (SE) on 24th June 2017. It is a significant milestone that this concept of social entrepreneurship is being integrated into the university curriculum. The Director of the Industry Liaison Center (ILC), Dr. Madurapperuma, who is a firm believer of Entrepreneurship, encourages students to become job creators instead of job seekers. He stated that the university would not expect immediate results on the SE course but there will be a significant impact in time to come. The OUSL took the initiative and partnered with Social Enterprise Lanka to introduce this timely and relevant subject to its students. The most significant achievement of this course is that students from various disciplines joined the class to form multi-disciplinary startups. Also, they broadened their knowledge on this concept which is being used globally to tackle many social and environmental challenges. The resource person Mr. Eranda Ginige argues that social enterprises are the most successful businesses ventures in the near future according to his own ‘Theory of Social Enterprise.’   

During the 12-week program, students received practical insight into using entrepreneurship as a tool to solve social and environmental issues. During this time students came up with creative and fresh business ideas and developed them over the weeks and are now ready to pitch their ideas to a panel of impact investors. The engagement and feedback received by students have been tremendous. We believe that some of them will move on to converting their business ideas into actual businesses, or even start different types of social enterprises, in their relevant communities. 

The OUSL will be known as the pioneering institute for piloting this course and making it a part of tertiary education curriculum in all of Sri Lanka. The second phase of the SE course will be launched in two months.

 

Story-telling Techniques

The OUSL completed the first short course that employs story-telling techniques to develop effective presentation skills. On the last day of the course, a confident group of participants made some captivating presentations. Their topics varied from complex to simple, but all were nothing short of interesting.

The course was designed to allow practice time for all participants during almost all the lessons, and covered topics such as story structure, breath and voice control, gesture and posture, audience analysis, question handling and structured thinking.


“It is good to see how far the students have come after 7 lessons. I noticed how some students struggled to make a simple self-introduction on April 29th, at the first class. Some were stammering and some speechless. The same students can now structure an interesting story or talk, use gestures and facial expressions in delivering the story and handle the audience well,” Mr. Sujeewa Jayawardana, the  ILC Manager said. He further added, “It is amazing. Good Teachers know how to use the potential of students to achieve the best.”


Students were very pleased with the learning outcomes. They admired the presentation by Mr. Nalina Wijesundara, on structured thinking using the Pyramid Principle, introduced by Barbara Minto as a great tool to use in communications, be it a report, presentation or public speech.

The resource person, Ms. Jinashri Wijesundara said that her target students were not those who already excel in presentation skills but those who considered their presentation skills were below average.  She would change the course structure in the classes, taking feedback from the recently concluded batch, to suit the OUSL students’ requirements better.

An award ceremony was organized by the Public Information Division (PID)in recognition of the contribution made by both students and faculties for the exhibition “ThirasaraYugaka Haritha Udanaya”. This was organised by the Presidential Secretariat in April 2017. The awards ceremony was conducted on 5th of May at the Senate Board Room amidst a large gatheringof invitees. The ceremony was presided by the Chief Guest Prof. A.S. Ariadurai, VC, of the OUSL.57 Studentsand 33facultymembers were presented with awards, while letters of appreciation were given to all those who collaborated in supporting roles.

During the event,the Vice Chancellor also, conducted a de-briefing session and emphasised the need to strengthen the PID to enable them to better facilitate such publicity programmes and promotional campaigns.

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The photograph of the former Dean of the Faculty of HSS, Professor Camena Guneratne was unveiled at the Board Room of the Faculty of HSS on 19th April 2017. This well- attended ceremony was presided over by the Vice Chancellor of the OUSL, Prof Ariyadurai and the present Dean of HSS, Dr. S. Abeysinghe.

prof camena 1

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Felicitation Ceremony for former Vice Chancellor, Senior Professor Upali Vidanapathirana was held on 21st March 2017 at the New Conference Hall (OUSL). This well-attended ceremony enjoyed the participation of a large number of academic and administrative staff along with the OUSL Vice Chancellor Professor S.A. Ariadurai and members of the university’s senior management. The charming ceremony allowed representatives of all categories of the university staff to acknowledge and appreciate the services of Prof. Vidanapathirana. The university also presented him with two mementos in symbolic appreciation of his services.    

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oerpi1

National Workshop on Provincial Open Educational Resources (OER) Policy Implementation was held at the OZO Hotel Colombo from 27th February 2017 to 1st March 2017. The chief guest was Mr. Sunil Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Education. Professor Shironica P. Karunanayake gave the welcome address. Dr. Ishan Abeywardena, adviser on OER from Commonwealth of Learning delivered introductory remarks and the key note speech was delivered by Professor Samuel Anbahan Ariadurai, Vice Chancellor, OUSL.

The workshop was a part of OER Integration Initiative at the OUSL. It was organized by the OUSL with the support of Commonwealth of Learning Canada. In view of promoting OER in the Sri Lankan General School Education System (primary, secondary and collegiate), Commonwealth of Learning with the partnership of the OUSL and with support from the Ministry of Education (MoE) has successfully completed a project leading to the development of OER policy frameworks for the nine Provincial Ministries of Education (PMoE) in the year 2016. Professor Shironica P. Karunanayake was involved in the preliminary work and came up with a draft policy for each of the nine provinces in Sri Lanka.

This National Workshop on OER Policy Implementation brought together all the key stakeholders to finalize the provincial policies for potential adoption and implementation. The objectives of the workshop were:

  • build awareness among policymakers and key stakeholders at national/provincial level on the concept and impact of OER for general school education
  • reinforce the necessity and benefits of a provincial OER policy for general school education
  • finalize the draft OER policies for each province ready for adoption/implementation and
  • plot the way forward for adopting and implementing provincial OER policies in Sri Lanka.

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MOUThanjavur

A general MoU was signed between the OUSL and the Tamil University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India on 09 March 2017. This MOU will facilitate students and staff exchange programmes, joint conferences/seminars/workshops, scholarly collaborations and supporting educational, professional and cultural activities among faculties and students of the two institutions.

MoU OUSL AAT

The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and the Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka(AAT) signed an MoU at the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of the OUSL on 21 February 2017.

This MoU facilitates the development of academic and professional aspects related to the conducting of the Bachelor of Management Studies Degree and Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management programme offered by the Department of Management Studies of the OUSL.

Under this MoU, AAT will provide professional inputs, resource persons and industrial training facilities whenever such contributions are required for the successful delivery of academic, research and industrial analysis components of those academic programmes.  

A general MOU and an agreement was signed between The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and Mianz International College (MI College) on 2nd December 2016 to offer the OUSL short courses through MI College in the Maldives. Initially, the following courses have been identified by both parties to be offered at MI College for the Maldivian students who will be registered with the OUSL.

  1. Short Course on Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities
  2. Short Course on Research Methodology in Education
  3. Short Course in Financial Accounting (SCFA)
  4. Short Course in Marketing Management
  5. Short Course in Human Resource Management

This is the first initiative for the OUSL to offer such short courses overseas. This initiative will strengthen the OUSL to offer Foundation, Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes in the future at the Maldives.

The Vice Chancellor, Registrar and the Director International Relations Unit of the OUSL participated in the graduation ceremony of the MI College held on 2nd December 2016 in the Maldives.

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"Sarasavi Medura," a four-story modern hostel complex of the OUSL, was recently declared open by the Vice Chancellor of the OUSL Prof A. Ariyadurai. This Temporary Residential Facility (TRF) can accommodate up to 400 students at a time and features environmentally-friendly modalities of construction. Completed with spacious comfortable rooms, study spaces, dinning room plus other basic amenities, this TRF is the latest addition to the OUSL's vision to provide maximum support to its ODL student population.

sarasavimedura01

sarasavimedura02

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A book released as an Open Educational Resource (OER) and published by the OUSL titled "Dreamweaving Open Educational Practices” was launched on 8th December, 2016, at the Faculty of Education, OUSL. The Vice Chancellor, Professor S. A. Ariadurai, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, while Emeritus Professor Chandra Gunawardena delivered a review of the book.

This publication, edited by Professors Shironica P. Karunanayaka and Som Naidu, is an outcome of the IDRC-funded ROER4D Research Project led by them and successfully completed at the Faculty of Education during 2015-2016. It features stories of school teachers across the nine provinces in Sri Lanka, who have integrated Open Educational Resources (OER) and adopted Open Educational Practices (OEP) in their teaching and learning.

This is the second book released as an OER by the Faculty of Education and is available at:

http://www.ou.ac.lk/home/images/OUSL/publications/Dreamweaving%20Open%20Educational%20Practices.pdf

Dreamweaving

Dreamweaving

Dreamweaving

REFERENCA AWARD 1

P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane, an OUSL graduate in Technology in the Mechatronics stream, who is presently a Lecturer of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has become the “Winner of the Year 2016” and the first Sri Lankan to receive the "Referenca Award" for Science & Technology for Peaceful Work from REFRENCA European Union organization, awarded at the Academic Economic Congress 2016 held in SLOVENIA.

REFERENCA EU is the European Union organization comprising of hundreds of companies and institutions in the region who distinguish renowned persons in the global academia. They have undertaken a comprehensive assessment of Hiroshan’s academic background, projects, research works, publications and community work as a part of their criteria for the award.

REFERENCA AWARD

Motivational Lecture KRC

A motivational lecture on Knowledge Management and Innovation by Dr. Nawaz Jiffry (consultant KMI / Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist) was held on 27th October 2016 at the OUSL Kandy Regional Centre auditorium. This session was organized by the CERC unit, KRC targeting private and public sector employees/employers, university students, entrepreneurs, unemployed youth and the students who want to pursue higher education in the future.

Representatives of many reputed institutions in and around Kandy participated in this session, which was sponsored by the Commercial Bank, Katugastota Branch.

Participants extended their gratitude to the organizers and requested more lectures of this nature in the future.

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Motivational Lecture KRC

Robotics Toolkit

From Left: Eng. B.G.D. Achintha Madhusanka, Eng. [Mrs.] Nimali Medagedara, Mr. Singhe Wijesinghe , Eng. P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane

A team comprising of researchers supervised by Eng. [Mrs.] Nimali T Medagedara and Eng. BGD Achintha Madhusanka of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, OUSL has been selected as the first-runners up in “The Soft Robotics Toolkit Design Competition 2016” hosted by Bio Design Laboratory, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Harvard University USA. The principle researcher, Eng. P.D.S. Hiroshan Gunawardane is a graduate from the Department of Mechanical Engineering who is now employed as a probationary lecturer. A valuable assistance was also rendered by Mr. Singhe Wijesinghe, an undergraduate student from the Department in the fabrication process.

The OUSL competed with around 20 other nations with more than eighty teams from well-known universities, high schools and researchers around the world in three categories. The Soft Robotics Design Team of the OUSL introduced the “Design and Development of a Hand Gesture Controlled Soft Robot Manipulator” which is a novel methodology to control a soft robot manipulator with a three finger soft gripper by imitating real-time human hand gestures.

The competition was judged by nine top researchers in the field of robotics selected by the Harvard University. The winner was Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA, USA (World Rank 682). The First Runners-Up was the Open University of Sri Lanka(World Rank 4479) and Second Runners-Up was Cornell University, NY, USA. (World Rank 6). Some of the other renowned universities that participated are University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (World Rank 91), Colorado State University, CO, USA (World Rank 192) and Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA (World Rank 387).

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A group of ten OUSL staff members participated the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU 2016) hosted by the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), held 26-29 October, 2016 at Manila, Philippines. OpenEducation in Asia: Changing Perspectives was the theme for the AAOU 2016 conference. This Conference provided the catalyst for knowledge sharing among participants and created opportunity for researchers to share their knowledge and make contacts to initiate more collaborative research.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor S. A. Ariadurai was one of the plenary speakers at the conference focused on ‘Open and Distance Learning in 21st Century’. Professor. Ariadurai delivered his address on “How to face Challenges - The Sri Lankan Experience”.

In total, nine research articles were presented by the OUSL participants at the conference, out of these two papers were selected as Finalists for Best Paper award and Finalist for Best Practice award respectively.

Professor Shironica P. Karunanayaka of the Department of Secondary & Tertiary Education of the Faculty of Education, received the “Gold Medal for Best Practice Award”. Prof. Karunanayaka received this award for the research paper titled, “A Design-based Approach to Support and Nurture Open Educational Practices” (by– ShironicaKarunanayaka and Som Naidu), based on the ROER4D Research Project led by her at the Faculty of Education, OUSL.

The selection criteria for the Award specified an innovative practice developed to improve process or method, the potential for such practice to be replicated, impact on the Open Distance Learning environment, and the quality of writing. This was one of the six shortlisted papers selected by the adjudication panel for a 10-minute oral paper presentation during the conference. After an assessment by the Best Practice Award Adjudication Committee Prof. Karunanayaka was presented with the Gold Medal of the AAOU Best Practice Award 2016.

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bestaward

Ms. E.W.A.I.M. Siriwardana, an undergraduate of the B.Sc. Nursing Degree program, was awarded the Best Paper’s Award of Allied Health Sciences Forum at the 9th International Research Conference of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University held on 8th& 9th September on the theme Professional Integration for a Secure Nation. The title of her paper was “A Study on Knowledge and Practices Related to Prevention of Needle Stick Injuries among Nurses in Intensive Care Units of Kandy Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka.” Another two BSc Nursing undergraduates were involved in this study, namely, Ms. W.N.S. Herath and Ms. Y.M.W.D.K. Yapa. The paper was supervised by Ms. K.G.P.K Munidasa, a Lecturer attached to the Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences. This paper was based on a study conducted for partial fulfillment of the BSc Nursing degree program under the course NSU 4206.

BSA2016

Ms. Nisansala Swaranamali Bopage who is currently working as a demonstrator at the Department of Chemistry, OUSL, was awarded the Best Student’s Award at the 4th International Conference on Pharmaceutical and Pharmacology – GLOBAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FORUM – SINGAPORE 2016 for the paper titled “Scratch Wound Assay (SWA) Guided Investigation of “Seetodaka” Oil, a Medicinal Oil Reputed for Wound Healing in Sri Lanka” by Nisansala S. Bopage, G.M. Kamal B. Gunaherath, K. Hector Jayawardena from the OUSL and S. Chandrani Wijeyaratne, A. M. Abeysekera from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura. This paper was based on part of the work she has carried out at the OUSL for her M. Phil degree which was funded by grants from Link Natural Products Ltd., and the Faculty of Natural Sciences, OUSL.