University of Ceylon
|University of Ceylon|
|Motto||Sarvasya Locanam Śāstram Sanskrit, "Knowledge is the eye unto all"|
|Established||1942, dissolved 1972|
|Location||Main Campuses were in Peradeniya & Colombo, senate located in Colombo, Ceylon|
The University of Ceylon was the only university in Sri Lanka (earlier Ceylon) from 1942 until 1972. It had several constituent campuses at various locations around Sri Lanka. The University of Ceylon Act No. 1 of 1972, replaced it with the University of Sri Lanka which existed from 1973 to 1978. In 1978 it was separated into four independent universities. These are the University of Colombo, the University of Peradeniya, Vidyodaya University and the University of Kelaniya.
Agitation for the provision of higher education in the island and for the establishment of a University began by the mid 19th century. This agitation gathered momentum by the beginning of the 20th century and the Ceylon University Association, formed in 1906 by a group of western educated elite, urged the establishment of a national University. Owing to the persistent demands of the Association the government decided in 1913 to set up a University College affiliated to the University of London.
However, indecision regarding the nature and status of the institution to be set up, its location, and eventually the intervention of the First World War hindered further progress and it was only in 1920 that the government purchased a private building called the "Regina Walawwa" which came to be known as "College House" for the purpose of setting up the University College. The Ceylon University College was formally declared open in January 1921 in the building that was originally the main building of Royal College located on Thurstan Road opposite College House.
From its inception, the University College was regarded as only a preliminary step, a half-way house, the ultimate goal being the establishment of a fully fledged degree granting University. The University of Ceylon was established on 1 July 1942 by the Ceylon University Ordinance No.20 of 1942 by amalgamating the Ceylon Medical College and the Ceylon University College.
The first official announcement of the creation of a separate University in Colombo was made in Parliament in the Throne Speech of 1967. The necessary legislation for this purpose had been prepared by the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs under section 34 of the Higher Education Act No. 20 of 1966 on the recommendation of the National Council of Higher Education. The new University which came into existence on 1 October 1967 with the Colombo Campus as its nucleus had initially a student population of nearly 5000 reading for degrees in Arts, Law, the Sciences and Medicine and a teaching staff of nearly 300.
The University of Ceylon Act No. 1 of 1972, which replaced the Higher Education Act of 1966 altered the complexion of the hitherto familiar University structure. The four independent autonomous universities (University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, University of Ceylon, Colombo, Vidyodaya University of Ceylon and Vidyalankara University of Ceylon) which had been set up by then and the Ceylon College of Technology at Katubedda became Campuses of a single University styled the University of Sri Lanka. Its headquarters designated "Senate House" was located in Colombo. This arrangement did not last very long. With the promulgation of the Universities Act. No 16 of 1978, University status was again restored to the Campuses and the Colombo Campus of the University of Sri Lanka was renamed the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, the name and style by which it is known today.
List of chancellors
- Sir Andrew Caldecott (1942–44)
- Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore (1944–49)
- Lord Soulbury (1949–54)
- Sir Oliver Goonetilleke (1954–62)
- William Gopallawa (1962–78)
List of vice-chancellors
- University College
- University of Ceylon
- University of Ceylon, Colombo
- Prof. O.H. de A. Wijesekera (1967)
- Walwin A. de Silva (1968–1969)
- Prof. B.A. Abeywickrema (1969–1972)
- University of Ceylon, Peradeniya
List of academics
- Dr Ediriweera Sarachchandra (Join 1943 Appointed as a lecturer in Pali)
- Dr E. F. C. LudowykProfessor of English (Join 1932; and was appointed Professor of English in 1936)
- Dr Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera Professor of oriental languages Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit . (Join 1942, he became the Professor )
- President J.R. Jayawardene - Former President & Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
- Hon Ranil Wickramasinghe, MP - Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka & current Leader of the Opposition.
- Sri Lankabhimanya Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar, PC - Former Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.
- Dr Nissanka Wijeyeratne, CCS - ex Cabinet Minister of Education, Higher Education & Justice, Member of Parliament, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Russian Federation, a former Permanent Secretary & Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy.
- Dr N. M. Perera - Former Cabinet Minister & Member of Parliament.
- Prof. S. "SAM" Karunaratne - Former Vice Chancellor of University of Moratuwa, current Chancellor of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology.
- Vidya Jyothi Prof. V. K. Samaranayake - former Dean of the Faculty of Science and Founder of University of Colombo School of Computing, University of Colombo
- Dr Ediriweera Sarachchandra, Sri Lanka's premier playwright and ex Sri Lankan Ambassador to France
- Deshamanya Dr Vernon Mendis - Sri Lankan Diplomat and United Nations Special Envoy to the Middle East
- Dr Harischandra Wijayatunga, well known non-fiction writer, lexicographer and politician.
- Dr Malik Peiris, Discovery of SARS Virus
- Dr Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah, Balzan Prize recipient, 1997
- Vidyaj Jyothi Prof. Osmond Jayaratne - Professor of Physics, University of Colombo and left wing politician.
- Cardinal Thomas Cooray, OMI - Cardinal and former Archbishop of Colombo
- Iranganie Serasinghe -Film actress
- Dr George Mendis - Former Chairman Education Service Board of Public Service Commission, Former Director Institute of Workers Education
- M. J. Perera first Director General of Radio Ceylon
- Ranjit Hewagama - Solomon Islands legal draftsman and Solicitor-General