The legacy continues | Print edition
The winding roads of Colombo – Badulla continued to stretch, each second further and further away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
The climb was steep and difficult as 99 buses kept flying as they wanted. Despite the challenges of roads similar to any other place in the country, the surroundings were breathtaking.
Gigantic mountain ranges kept appearing one after the other, making me feel like a Lilliput in Gulliver’s travels. While I was completely blown away by the magical surroundings of Belihuloya, we managed to reach the quiet little town of Pambahinna. After taking a tour of the clock tower which rules the city with a patient gaze, it is the road that led me to one of the most important universities on the island.
These were the experiences I received on the first day I visited Sabaragamuwa University in Sri Lanka. My lexicon fails miserably to describe the amazement I received as I first walked through the main doors of the University, and it is a memory that will last forever.
Surrounded by natural beauty unmatched in any other place in the country, Sri Lanka’s Sabaragamuwa University is stronger than ever. Since its inception, Sabaragamuwa University has played a leading role in higher education in this country.
Responding to the extreme demands of hard times in 1991, the University was formed under the incumbent government as an Affiliated University College (SAUC). Recognizing the potential for expanding higher education in the country, the University has been transformed into a full-fledged university and made history as the 12th national university in the country.
Decades later, the University now comprises eight faculties that cover various disciplines, including the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Technology, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. True to the University’s vision, “to be an internationally renowned center of excellence in higher education producing dynamic leaders and nation builders to guide the destiny of Sri Lanka”, the focus is on generation. and dissemination of knowledge in the hope of creating a lasting impact on society.
The university consists of knowledgeable, friendly and knowledgeable academic staff who are also young at heart. They are stoic and resistant in the face of terrible calamities.
The world came to a halt with the unforeseen pandemic that engulfed every nook and cranny of the world.
The Pearl of the Indian Ocean was no exception to this impending catastrophe and these dark times of humanity as the heartless virus has also invaded our country. Things started to fall apart, slowly but surely, allowing us to realize the power and indifference of the virus over the safety and normality of daily life. Yet Sri Lanka’s Sabaragamuwa University is stronger than ever despite difficult times.
Arundhati Roy sees the pandemic as “a portal, a gateway between one world and the other”.
This is more or less the perception of academics at the University of Sabaragamuwa as they are inspired to move forward in meeting the demands of the country despite the multiple challenges facing many countries. A true testament to the perpetual interest in research, the University is preparing to hold its 8th International Conference at Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka (ICSUSL) from December 1-3, 2021.
The Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka International Conference (ICSUSL) has a proud history, as the first conference was held in 2006 under the theme “Issues and challenges of the 21st century”. The conference was held in the premises of Belihuloya University, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the young university. Many distinguished personalities graced the occasion, which certainly caught the attention of many researchers and the general public.
It was an unprecedented experience for some and had a significant impact on the country’s academic arena. The conference allowed delegates to network and benefit from contacts with national and international visitors who had a broader understanding of the global issues and challenges of the 21st century.
Now the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka International Conference (ICSUSL) is a milestone every year and certainly one of the most anticipated events on the academic calendar. Until the 4th symposium, it was called “International Symposium”. However, from the 5th conference the name changed to Sabaragamuwa University Sri Lanka International Conference (ICSUSL) and has remained until now. Each conference focused on a specific theme, in particular a topical and relevant topic in the community, which allowed for the creation and dissemination of relevant research results that enriched the academic field and society in turn.
Each keynote speaker was carefully chosen and allowed delegates to incorporate the thoughts of leading national and international academics.
The first conference I was able to attend was 06 ICSUSL 2017 which was held from May 3-5, 2017 at the Grand Kandyan Hotel, Kandy.
The aim of the conference was to encourage academics and improve their research and knowledge dissemination while comparing the contribution and successful course of the University of Sabaragamuwa. The theme of the conference was “Knowledge Flourishes Beyond the Contemporary Paradigm” which envisioned science, research and knowledge-based paradigm shift in problem solving and development interventions. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary dialogues and interactions of researchers and participants of the 6th ICSUSL have informed a new order in sustainable development, science and the knowledge society.
The conference was further enriched by choosing a suitable venue in a world famous heritage city, Kandy, and including post-conference tours to the fascinating highlands of Sri Lanka. It was indeed a testament and marked the culmination of one of the highest achievements the University could achieve, and I was blessed to witness such greatness.
When it was doubtful whether it was possible to overtake the 6th ICSUSL, the 7th Conference managed to do so in style.
The 7th ICSUSL was held from November 14-15, 2019 in Belihuloya, Sri Lanka. The conference was organized under the theme “Frontier Technologies for a Sustainable Future” and reflected the passion and commitment to promote the exchange of cutting edge scientific knowledge in a wide range of disciplines within our teaching and research.
As we see the dawn of an era characterized by advanced technologies and nanotechnologies, it was crucial to ensure that these technologies work for society, the economy as well as the environment, if we are to succeed. to sustainable development. These challenges have been met in an effective and efficient manner, ensuring the birth of new experiences and knowledge for the benefit of the common good.
Notwithstanding the trials and stipulations of the present times, the 8th International Conference of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka is fast approaching.
Continuing its proud heritage, the 8th ICSUSL is expected to be held in December 2021 under the theme “Bringing together knowledge and experience to tackle global challenges”.
The conference will serve as a platform to bring together researchers from various disciplines to disseminate scientific findings, exchange knowledge and find practical solutions to current problems and global challenges.
Being one of the key celebratory events throughout the year of the University’s 25th anniversary, the conference will expand SUSL’s efforts in strengthening communities and their knowledge systems.
The next conference will be unique and fascinating for all since it is purely virtual, which proves, once again, its relevance.
It goes without saying that research activities of the highest caliber add value, status and glamor to the role of the University. Research, while ensuring the fusion of minds and academic discoveries, contributes to nation-building, brings about changes of international importance and thus improves the quality of life of humanity. Therefore, the pre-conference workshops that will be organized would certainly provide many opportunities for young researchers, academics, delegates and undergraduates to reap many benefits and add more color to their profiles.
The compelling necessity of these difficult times, coupled with the rapid pace of technological advancement, will produce the most irreplaceable and memorable days of December, bringing new aspirations for a better future.