Message from Deshamanya Professor W. D. Lakshman, Vice Chancellor
As an educational institute SANASA Campus is, on the one hand, the educational arm of the SANASA movement with its extensive network of cooperative Thrift and Credit Societies and the several companies using the SANASA brand name. The activities of the Campus in service to its sister organizations and various other co-operative and community organizations are managed by the Centre for Co-operative and Community Studies (CCCS) of the Campus. On the other hand, the higher education activities of the Campus, including the running of its courses leading to the B.Sc. degree, Diplomas and Certificates as well as short term training courses offered on demand, are carried out by the SANASA Faculty of Management and Finance (FMF). These two branches, CCCS and FMF form the SANASA Campus.
Right now, FMS has about 75 students reading for the three B Sc degree courses in – (i) Regional Science and Planning, (ii) Banking and Finance and (iii) Insurance and Risk Management. The Ministry of Higher Education authorized the Campus to conduct courses to award these BSc degrees in 2014 through the Gazette notification no.
The philosophy which led the Campus to develop these undergraduate programs gives the Campus several distinguishing characteristics. First, it is being promoted as a degree awarding institution belonging to the co-operative sector of Sri Lanka. It is neither in the state sector nor in the profit motivated private sector. It is a non-profit organization located in the decades-long co-operative sector of the country. Its system of management will be in congruence with the recognized cooperative principles. It encourages the sister institutions of the SANASA movement to bear part of the cost of undergraduate education of FMF students out of part of their surpluses, thus also aiming at human resource development of the thousands of SANASA societies.
Second, we build up links and association between our students and the community around the university. We do not promote the idea of a residential group of undergraduate students on the Campus, separated from the surrounding community. SANASA is thus developing a community based university in Kegalle area. The neighborhood communities, it is hoped, will grow with the university through vibrant linkages with the SANASA Campus student population. Already our students are engaging in community development activities in association with SANASA cooperative societies.
Third, all our degree programmes are, unlike in the case of those in other universities in Sri Lanka, throughout the period of undergraduate education, work-based and occupying the status of near professional degree courses. Each student is associated with a working organization from the beginning of their university career, subject, of course, to the supervision of Campus teaching staff.
Fourth, the location of the Campus on a fifty acre land, large part of it covered with lush vegetation, partly natural and partly man-made, makes it naturally a “green” Campus. Students have their formal class-room studies and co-curricular activities surrounded by the green cover of the Campus. Visitors to the Campus, local dignitaries as well as others and invited foreign academics and others go back with enduring memories of a truly green university.
Thus in SANASA Campus we are building up a university with a difference. Our aim in SANASA is to ensure internationally comparable high quality standards in its training programmes. The Campus provides its students a unique and interesting university learning experience. We ensure that they find the campus life intellectually stimulating, personally fulfilling, and academically rewarding. The “green” aspect of the campus will provide to its students a learning experience that will be enduring.
We are a university-in-making, representing and experimenting with lofty ideals and new ways of providing higher education. We are on our journey towards success by 2020. SANASA Campus has already passed several milestones, the most remarkable of these being the commencement of all the three degree programmes approved for us by higher education authorities within just about 15 months of the Gazette notification of the degree awarding status for SANASA.
While being proud of our achievements in such a short period of time, we are also aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses, constantly working for improvement of areas of operation that require improvement – strengthening academic programmes, human resource development, improvement of internal management structures, and infrastructure development.