The University of Ruhuna (UR) being the only university established in the Southern Province, has a definitive role to play in the massive development projects launched with the Hambantota International Hub Development (HIHD) programme.
Therefore UR has strengthened its links with the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) to ensure the academic inputs from the UR to be fully utilised to develop the Hambantota District.
HDCC has been in the forefront of empowering the business community to lead enhancement of economic prosperity of the district. HDCC develops strategic partnerships with national and international organisations.
Since 2004 HDCC and the University of Ruhuna (UR) has worked together in several areas such as provision of training opportunities for University undergraduates at HDCC, provision of opportunity for the students to conduct field visits in ‘live’ commercial organisations, conducting academic studies by the University staff into relevant local development issues, University assistance with the preparation of business plans on a consultancy basis, University taking the lead role in the judging process of the Best Entrepreneur Award competition of the Hambantota District in 2009 and 2010, Active university participation at HDCC events eg. Exhibitions, Workshops, Investment Forums, Ad hoc research collaborations, and a HDCC representative serving as a member of the University Council.
HDCC values its long standing partnership with UR and therefore desired to formalise the partnership and continue working on a programme for mutual benefit. UR entered in to a Cooperation agreement with HDCC on 28 September, 2010 to establish a joint mechanism for delivering economic and business development in the Hambantota District.
Prof. Susirith Mendis –Vice Chancellor and Registrar S.P. Kalugama signed on behalf of UR and President Kumara Jayasinghe and Director General Azmi Thassim signed on behalf of HDCC.
UR will continue to support HDCC to its capacity as an organisation through the transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise in the relevant fields. This will be achieved through the provision of materials and processes, possible resource person agreement, advice and guidance.
The university will assist HDCC: To link university respective faculties with different sector base and traders associations to assist the Associations in finding solutions for common problems and to embark on a development programme; to use the university to assist, to monitor and guide the selected activities of HDCC and issue assessment reports; to bring UR external education programme (mutually identified) to the Hambantota District and; to use university research facilities for the benefit of our business community.
On its part the HDCC will cooperate with UR: To find internship opportunities for undergraduates in the district; to facilitate field projects for undergraduates and faculty staff and; to facilitate information in terms of SME focus and sector focus for university academic purpose.