University of Ruhuna

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University of Ruhuna
රුහුණ විශ්වවිද්‍යාලය
ருகுண பல்கலைக் கழகம்
Latin: Universitas Rohana
Former name
Ruhuna University College
Motto Pali: පඤඤ නරානං රතනං Paññāya Narānaṅ Ratanaṅ
Type Public
Established 1978
Academic affiliation
University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka,
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Endowment LKR 2.982 billion
Chancellor Venerable Pallattara Sumanajothi Thero
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Gamini Senanayake
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 1,1000[1]
Undergraduates 10,000
Postgraduates 600
Location Matara and Galle, Sri Lanka
Campus Suburban
Language Sinhala, Tamil and English
Colours Yellow, Brown         
Sporting affiliations
Sri Lanka University Games

The University of Ruhuna (Sinhalese: රුහුණ විශ්වවිද්‍යාලය, රෝහණ සරසවිය (Ruhuṇa Viśvavidyālaya, Rohana sarasaviya),; Tamil: ருகுண பல்கலைக் கழகம்) is a Sri Lankan national university in Matara,[2] Sri Lanka.[3]

It is the only university in southern Sri Lanka. It was established by a Special Presidential Decree on 1 September 1978 as Ruhuna University College and upgraded to a fully-fledged university on 1 February 1984.[4] It is informally known as Ruhuna University or simply Ruhuna.

The University is organised into nine faculties throughout the Southern province of Sri Lanka. Its 72 acres (29 ha) main campus is located in Wellamadama complex in Matara. The faculties of Agriculture and Technology are located in Kamburupitiya (Matara), whilst the faculties of Engineering and Medicine are located in Galle. Its LKR 2.982 billion[5] financial endowments are used for academic and research purposes of the university. It operates the Ruhuna Library, which is one of the largest academic and research library systems in Sri Lanka. The Ruhuna University Library System is centered in the main library at the Wellamadama main campus and comprises nearly four other libraries holding over 200,000 volumes.


The idea of a University of Ruhuna was proposed by the Minister of Eduction, Dr. Nissanka Wijeyeratne.[6][7] Ruhuna University was opened on 1 September 1978, fulfilling a desire of the people of the south to have a university in the region. It was housed in the Technical College buildings at Meddawatte, Matara with about 40 academics, 50 non-academics, and 275 students.

Engraving of Ruhuna University College by Geoffrey Bawa

Inauguration of University college[edit]

The enactment of the Universities Act No. 46 of 1978 enabled the University Grants Commission to establish the Ruhuna University College. As a result, on 27 August 1978, the Prime Minister J. R. Jayawardene declared open the Ruhuna University College at Meddawatta, Matara, with Prof. Mervyn W. Thenabadu as its Director.

Campus to University status[edit]

The Ruhuna University College was shifted to the new premises in 1984 following which it was elevated to full university status.The new location was selected for the main campus at Wellamadama, two kilometers from Matara facing Matara-Kataragama main road. Professor G. P. Samarawickrama was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University. Hon. Ronnie De Mel, inaugurating the University after being elevated from campus to University status in 1984. During the past 25 years, it has witnessed considerable progress and development in the academic, research and outreach spheres with substantial improvement in intellectual and infrastructure resources and has emerged as a leader of higher education in Sri Lanka. To date, it has produced about 50,000 graduates and over 75 postgraduates.[8] Around 100 postgraduate students are pursuing master and doctoral programs in disciplines that are of relevance to the development of the region in particular and the country in general.

Governance and administration[edit]

The University of Ruhuna is a state university and depends on the government for much of its annual grant, which is provided by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Due to this, its administration is heavily influenced by the UGC. Undergraduate education is completely free. The Governance of the university is under the provisions of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 and the Universities (Amendment) Act No. 7 of 1985 along with its own by-laws.

The university's administration is based upon that of the former University of Ceylon consisting of a dual structure of bodies: the Council (formally known as the University Court which is the governing body) and the Academic Senate (academic affairs).

Much of the appointments to officers and faculty are carried out by these bodies, however on the recommendations of the UGC.

Officers of the university[edit]


The Chancellor is the head of the university and awards all degrees, although most duties are carried out by the Vice-Chancellor. The appointment is made by the President of Sri Lanka, to a distinguished person in academics, clergy or in the civil society. The chancellor is Rajakeeya Panditha Pallaththara Sumanajothi Nayaka Thero.


Day-to-day management of the University is undertaken by the Vice-Chancellor, appointed by the President of Sri Lanka. The current Vice-Chancellor is Gamini Senanayake.

Past Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors[edit]


Architectural landscape[edit]

A new building complex for the university was designed by the world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa[9] and was constructed at Wellamadama with a unique architectural landscape.[10] The RUC was shifted to the new premises in 1984, and it was elevated to full university status. Edward Reed & Beg Company designed the buildings and the Ballast Nedam Company of the Netherlands completed the construction at all three sites: Wellamadama, Mapalana, and Karapitiya with a unique architectural landscape.

The 30-hectare site straddled three steep hills, the westernmost overlooking the sea and separated from the other two by a low-lying valley that carried the main road from Matara to Hambantota.Architects placed the vice-chancellor's lodge and a guest house on the western hill and flooded the intervening valley to create a buffer between the road and the main campus. He then wrapped the buildings of the science faculty around the northern hill and those of the arts faculty around the southern hill, using the depression between them for the library and other central facilities.[11]

University Complex,Wellamadama

University Complex[edit]

After Peradeniya, which was selected for the beauty of its surrounding, Ruhuna university was the only other campus built with similar ambition.Located in the south of the island, this was the second university complex since the University of Ceylon, to be designed on the same lavish scale and style.

Geoffery Bawa's architecture for Ruhuna[edit]

In Geoffery Bawa's architecture, the central role of geography must be a highlight.The buildings as they are conceived are influenced by the "character of the natural terrain, the vegetation, the potential for developing vistas out into the landscape and hence light and shade and of course the related and ever-present aspect of climate".In the Ruhuna campus construction are intimately tied to the topography and the territory they occupy.[12]


Founding of faculties and schools of the University of Ruhuna
Faculties and Institutes Year founded
Ruhuna University College 1978
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 1978
Faculty of Agriculture 1978
Faculty of Science 1978
Faculty of Medicine 1980
Faculty of Engineering 1999
Faculty of Management and Finance 2003
Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences and Technology 2005
Faculty of Graduate Studies 2011
Technology 2017

It has nine faculties: Agriculture, Engineering, Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Management and Finance, Medicine, Science, Graduate studies and Technology.

The university has responded to the needs of the country and established two new faculties — 'Management and Finance' and 'Fisheries and Marine Science' — the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Thus, the university has as many faculties as the University of Peradeniya, the largest in Sri Lanka.

The main campus is at Matara. The faculties of Engineering and Medicine are at Hapugala and Karapitiya, about 5 km from Galle city center. The Faculty of Agriculture is at Mapalana, 16 km north of Matara and 2 km south of Kamburupitiya.

University Of Ruhuna

Faculty of Agriculture[edit]

Faculty runs three BSc. degree programs; Agricultural Resource Management and Technology, Green, Technology, and Agribusiness management.

The following departments make up the Faculty of Agriculture:

Faculty of Engineering[edit]

Faculty of engineering, Hapugala

The Faculty of Engineering is in Hapugala, Galle, outside of the city.

The following departments make up the Faculty of Engineering:[13]

The curriculum at the Faculty of Engineering augments the engineering education with a due emphasis on Humanities, Social Engineering, and Management. It introduced the course unit system (semester system) among the faculties of Engineering in Sri Lanka.

The faculty was started in 1999 with 100 students. The first batch of students graduated in 2003. 1 July 1999 to 31 Dec. 1999 Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole (Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering) chaired the “informal” Faculty Board that approved the complete syllabus for the faculty.[14] Dr. H.H.J. Kirthisena was the first dean of the faculty and served from 1999 to 2001. Professor Lakshman Jayathilaka served as the second dean of the faculty from 2002 to 2003 and Dr. Kithsiri M. Liyange as the dean till 2007.

At present Dr. Chandana Perera serves as the dean. There are more than 800 students doing their studies in the faculty. In 2014, the intake was increased up to 225 per batch.

The faculty offers three bachelor's degree programs: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Information Engineering, and Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Department of Electrical and Information Engineering[edit]

The Department of Electrical and Information Engineering offers Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunication, Computer and Information Engineering under one specialization stream.

The department has three main laboratories: Electrical Machines and Power Electronic Laboratory, Electrical Measurements and Electronic Laboratory, and the Communication and System Engineering Laboratory. It is equipped with a separate computer resource center for specialized applications and research.

Dr. S.H.K.K Gunawickrama serves as the head of the department. The department has 4 senior lecturers and 13 lecturers. Most of the academic staff are on study leave doing their post-graduate degrees.

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering[edit]

The department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering offers Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering(Production Engineering), Automobile Technology, Computer aided Designing and Engineering, Control and Robotics Engineering, and other technological specialties under one specialization stream.

Department research activities are offered at the undergraduate and post-graduate level.

The department has five main laboratories: Materials and Metallurgy Laboratory, Thermodynamics and Energy Laboratory, Fluid Mechanics and Process Engineering Laboratory, Applied Mechanics and Automobile Engineering Laboratory, and the Control, Automation, and CAD/CAM Laboratory. There is also an Engineering Workshop for graduate training in the use of industrial instruments. The department is equipped with a separate Computer Laboratory for CAD/CAM activities.

Dr. S. Baduge serves as the head of the department, which consists of 5 senior lecturers and 7 lecturers. Most of the academic staff members are on study leave doing their post-graduate degrees.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering[edit]

The department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers Structural Engineering and Construction Material, Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Water and Environmental Engineering, Infrastructure Development and Management and other technological specialties under one specialization stream.

Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences and Technology[edit]

The following departments make up the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences and Technology:

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences[edit]

The following departments make up the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences:

Faculty of Medicine[edit]

The Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna is in Karapitiya, Galle. It is the only medical school in the Southern part of Sri Lanka.[15]

It was established in 1980. It offers MBBS degree program and three Allied Health Sciences degree programmes — Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science and Bachelor of Pharmacy. There are over 125 full-time academic staff members in the faculty covering all the disciplines. In addition, the specialist staff of the Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya are working as extended faculty staff in teaching undergraduates. The Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, a well-known tertiary care hospital in the country, which serves as the main clinical training institute Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ruhuna.

It caters for postgraduate students in medicine and other related fields.

It is recognized as a training center by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, of the University of Colombo. Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna attracts a considerable number of medical students to follow elective appointments, from many countries, particularly from European countries like Germany and United Kingdom.

The following departments make up the Faculty of Medicine:

Faculty of Science[edit]

The main vision of the Faculty of Science is to become a center of scientific and technological excellence nationally and internationally and serve the community in pursuit of this goal.

The following departments make up the Faculty of Science:[16]

At present, the faculty recruits 130 students for the Biological Science, 210 students for the Physical Science and 50 students for the Computer Science streams for every academic year. The selection of students for undergraduate courses is done by the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka, based on the performance of students in the relevant General Certificate Examination (Advanced Level).

The faculty offers primarily undergraduate courses viz. the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) General Degree and Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS) General Degree of three–year duration and B.Sc. Special Degree of four-year duration. The undergraduate programme consists of a large number, of course, units offered by individual departments.

The faculty offers postgraduate degree programmes leading to the M.Sc., M.Phil, and Ph.D.

The Faculty of Science offers a Foundation programme, which offers course units on English (Intensive Course), Skills in Common Disciplines, and National Heritage, among others. This programme is provided as a preparation to the Bachelor of Science Degree and is mandatory. This programme carries three non-degree credits.

The Faculty of Science consists of six departments: Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Zoology.

The University of Ruhuna, Northern hill

Department of Computer Science[edit]

The Computer Unit was established more than 30 years ago and The Department of Computer Science of the University of Ruhuna was established in 1997 fulfilling a long-standing need of the University.[17] The Department of Computer Science and the Computer Unit are functioning as a common body to achieve their goals. The Department of Computer Science, established in 1997, was the first computer science department established in a Sri Lankan university.

The Department of Computer Science offers two main degree programs. The Bachelor of Computer Science (BCSc) degree program is an outcome of an enormous effort of the staff of the Department of Computer Science. One of the prime objectives of this degree programme is to prepare the undergraduates for a career in Computer Science and Information Technology, which is one of the major driving forces of the economic development of Sri Lanka. Students admitted to the program will pursue a full-scale Computer Science programme of three years leading to the degree of Bachelor of Computer Science (General). Based on the performance, a limited number of students will be selected to study an extra year leading to the degree of Bachelor of Computer Science (Special). One of the prime objectives of the special degree is to offer in-depth knowledge in selected areas of computer science for those who wish to pursue an academic and/or research careers.

The department also offers a BSc in Computer Science to Physical Science students who are following a Bachelor of Science degree program. The duration of the Bachelor of Science (General) Degree Course is three academic years (six semesters).

Faculty of Technology[edit]

The Faculty of Technology has been officially established under the gazette notification issued on 26.04. 2016. The new faculty will be located at Kamburupitiya, close to the Faculty of Agriculture, however, it will be temporarily located at the premises of Faculty of Science until the buildings, which are under construction, are completed. The students will be admitted in 2016 for two-degree programmes, Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BET) and Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology (BICT). The students for Bachelor of BioSystem Technology (BBST) degree will be admitted in the following year. The total student intake would be 200 for the Faculty when it is fully established. The following departments make up the Faculty of Technology:


There is much research going on in University of Ruhuna. Most are with other universities, government organizations, semi-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations. The research is funded by both Sri Lankan and foreign entities.


The University of Ruhuna publishes some of the key academic journals in the country.

  • Journal of the University of Ruhuna
  • Ruhuna Journal of Management and Finance
  • Ruhuna Journal of Science
  • Rohana


The main of the University of Ruhuna is at the Wellamadama campus. Agriculture, Medical, and Engineering faculty libraries are at the Mapalana, Karapitiya, and Hapugala campuses. There is also an Allied Health Sciences faculty library. It is one of the legal deposit in Sri Lanka

Library, University of Ruhuna
Country Sri Lanka
Type Academic and Research
Established 1978
Location Matara
Branch of Mapalana, Karapitiya, Hapugala, Mahamodara
Branches 04
Items collected Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, Legal Deposit, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings and manuscripts

200,000 total Books

160,000 legal deposit
Access and use
Members 12,000
Other information
Director Ananda Karunaratne

The library holds about 200,000 books and about 300 journals (foreign and local). These resources are available in print and electronic formats. Services include reference, lending, interlibrary loan, current awareness services, workshops and maintaining library website with links to resources for which the library have subscribed as well as those available free. The library website also provides access to the CD collection and the Online Public Access catalog. According to library statistics, annual circulation of resources is more than 123,000.

Student life[edit]

Faculty Students' Unions[edit]

According to the amended University Act of 1988, Section 26, students of each faculty can form the Faculty Union of all students of that faculty. The main objective of this Union is to promote academic actions of the student population and to work for the advancement and welfare of the students and the faculty.


The university is equipped with a large gymnasium which is the third best in Sri Lanka with seating capacity for 3000. Training facilities for many indoor sports activities are available here for students after 12.00 p.m. every weekday. These include:

The university playground was commissioned in 1998 and outdoor facilities for following sports are available here.

The department of physical education provides sports equipment to students for games organized by the university and for training sessions free of charge.University of Ruhuna a participator of Sri Lanka University Games.The Sri Lanka University Games are a multi-sporting event held between public universities in Sri Lanka.

Financial Aids[edit]

Each year 10 needy students from Civil and Environmental Engineering program are entitled to a special scholarship sponsored by Ceylon Steel Corporation [18]


  1. ^ "Student Enrolmentof Sri Lankan Universities" (PDF). University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "General information of Sri Lankan Universities" (PDF). University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Gunawardena, Charles A. (2005). Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. India: Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 399. ISBN 1932705481. 
  4. ^ Yong, Zhao; Ramanathan, Hema (2010). Handbook of Asian Education: A Cultural Perspective. New York: Routledge. p. 584. ISBN 1136721290. 
  5. ^ "Finance information of Sri Lankan Universities" (PDF). University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  6. ^ Saga of Nilame and Kumarihamy by Lakmal Welabada. Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka), Retrieved on 10 December 2006.
  7. ^ AN ILLUSTRIOUS STATESMAN. Daily News, Retrieved on 7 January 2016.
  8. ^ "University Admission" (PDF). University Grants Commission. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "geoffreybawa". Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Taylor, B.B.; Bawa, Geoffrey (1995). Geoffrey Bawa. Sri Lanka: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500278581. 
  11. ^ Robson, David. 2002. Geoffrey Bawa: The Complete Works. London: Thames & Hudson, 158-163.
  12. ^ Wickaramasinghe, N. (2005). University Space and Values Three Essays. International Center for Ethnic Studies Colombo Sri Lanka. 
  13. ^ "Overview of the Faculty". Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "CV: S. RATNAJEEVAN H. HOOLE" (PDF). Michigan State University. 
  15. ^ A. Rose, Henry (2004). Foreign Medical Schools Directory. Unicol, Inc. p. 312. ISBN 1880973316. 
  16. ^ "Faculty of Science". Faculty of Science, University of Ruhuna. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 
  17. ^ "Department of Computer Science". Department of Computer Science, University of Ruhuna. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 
  18. ^ "Ceylon Steel Cooperation offers 10 scholarships for needy students". Daily News. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 

External links[edit]