Providing a new avenue for Sri Lankan students to study in Japan, the University of Tokyo, Japan’s top academic institution, opened its Sri Lanka Office in Colombo at a special ceremony held at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute on 16 January.
Japanese Ambassador in Colombo Akira Sugiyama, Vice President Prof. Sekimura Naoto and Vice President Prof. Aihara Akira of the University of Tokyo were present at the opening ceremony while Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovations Secretary Anura Dissanayake and University Grant Commission Chairman Prof. Sampath Amaratunge graced the auspicious occasion.
The University of Tokyo Sri Lanka Office, which will be directed by Prof. H.D. Karunaratne of University of Colombo, will serve as a coordinating centre in Sri Lanka to provide comprehensive information on study in Japan with specific target of increasing the number of Sri Lankan students in Japan by 1.5 times in the next four years. Ambassador Sugiyama welcomed the University of Tokyo’s leading initiative wholeheartedly and said, “The very presence of the Japanese top university in Sri Lanka signals the aspirations of strengthening traditional value of education on top of attracting the best and brightest across the island to study in Japan.”
“The fact that the establishment of Sri Lanka Office has been the second in line by the University of Tokyo, preceded only by the office in India, attests greater potential that remains untapped between the two countries in the area of education.”
He said the launching of Sri Lanka Office would help unleash wider possibility of opening a new avenue of achieving Japan’s target of increasing foreign students by 1.5 times in the next four years.
Ambassador Sugiyama noted that amongst many values that Sri Lanka and Japan share closely, ‘education’, is deeply embedded in the tradition, and ranks amongst the topmost position – bearing the utmost importance in developing national as well as individual characters.
“The very presence of the Japanese top university in Sri Lanka signals the aspirations of strengthening such traditional value furthermore, on top of attracting the best and brightest across the island to study in Japan.”