RMIT CEO Rachel Holthouse, SLTC President/CEO Ranjith G. Rubasinghe, SLTC Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena Handing to the their RMIT partnership token and others from left : SLTC Board Member Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, RMIT Vietnam President Prof. Gael MacDonald and Academic Adviser to President Prof. K. K. Y. Perera. Pic by Sameera Wijesinghe
By Shannon Jayawardena
The Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) recently announced their partnership with RMIT, one of Australia’s largest and top universities to create a global platform for local engineering students across the country.
The partnership which is a first in Sri Lanka is to allow students enrolled at SLTC to follow the RMIT Foundation Studies program, commencing in this year’s September in take. The program is a one year full-time study course and will enable students to have direct access into university higher education degree programs.
SLTC CEO Ranjith G. Rubasinghe said: “We are trying to create a different path for students after their O/L and A/L studies but changing trends is something very difficult. Yet we have taken up the challenge of changing the mindsets of both students and their parents.”
Rubasinghe believes that this is a great opportunity that will open up new horizons for students across Sri Lanka to study at one of Australia’s top-notch universities. They will get a head start by completing the Foundation Course in a year which could save the students nearly 16 months of having to go through the usual higher education system, he further emphasised.
SLTC founded in 2015 is Sri Lanka’s only research based, corporate powered, residential campus that offers a diverse portfolio of post-secondary study pathways in engineering, technology and arts and science.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved SLTC, consists of over 700 students and 100 faculty members out of who approximately 20 hold PHDs and is now believed to be the country’s fastest growing academic institution.
SLTC Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena stated: “This is the first time Sri Lanka opened for students who want to gain an engineering degree at RMIT Australia, Vietnam or any of the other recognised RMIT destinations.”
At present RMIT University acknowledges credit articulation from the SLTC Bachelor of Engineering programs in to diverse Bachelors of Engineering pathways in RMIT Melbourne and Vietnam. This enables students to transfer to either RMIT Vietnam or RMIT Melbourne for the final two years of their undergraduate studies.
RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald giving insights on the university’s background noted: “RMIT was founded in 1887 and was first a working men’s college with no women. Now there are more women than men studying at the university.”
It is quite unique as it is called a dual sector university which means that it has higher education right up to PHD but also has the vocational education. As a result of this, RMIT is now the largest tertiary education provider in Australia highlighted McDonald.
RMIT is currently home to approximately 84,000 students and over 6000 staff with presence in Barcelona and Vietnam as well.
RMIT Training Chief Executive Officer Rachel Holthouse said: “For many students in Sri Lanka, this will be welcome news as it provides a highly cost-effective way to help them realise their dream of studying at an Australian University.”
She further stressed on the fact that it is these types of collaborations that are going to shape the future of education as it is one of the noblest professions of the world which plays a critical role in changing the lives of students, their families and in deed regions and countries as well.