General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University

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General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
Crest of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
Flag of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
Mottoසිය රටටමයි කවදත්
(“For The Motherland Forever”)
TypeMilitary University /State University
Established11 October 2007
ChancellorAdmiral Daya Sandagiri RSP, VSV, USP, rcds, psc
Vice-ChancellorAir Vice Marshal Sagara Kotakadeniya (WWV, RWP, RSP, USP, MSC (Def & Strat Stu), fndu, psc)
CampusKDU Ratmalana, KDU Southern Campus, KDU University Teaching Hospital
AffiliationsAssociation of Commonwealth Universities

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) located at Kandawala, Ratmalana, Colombo, is a joint services academy where cadets of the three wings Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force are trained before they go for their pre-commission training to their academies. Established in 1980 as the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy, named after General Sir John Kotelawala, 3rd Prime Minister of Ceylon; it was renamed as a university by an amendment bill passed in Parliament on 11 October 2007.


The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy (the Defence University of Sri Lanka) was inaugurated on 11 October 1980 on a 48-acre (190,000 m2) estate donated by the late General Sir John Kotelawala, CH, KBE, LLD, a former Prime Minister of Ceylon. The KDA functions under the motto For The Motherland Forever, a dictum followed by General Sir John Kotelawala himself.

The KDA was instituted with the objective of educating males and females to be commissioned officers in the armed forces of Sri Lanka. It has been legally established under the Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy Act No. 68 of 1981 and is governed by a Board of Management consisting of the Secretary of the Defence as the chairman, Commanders of the tri-services, representatives of the University Grant Commission and the General Treasury, and the Commandant of the academy as members.

From 1980 to 1986, a temporary arrangement was made for Service Officer Cadets follow courses in engineering and physical science at the University of Colombo and University of Moratuwa, and they were awarded the degree by the same universities. Later, KDA was elevated to university status subsequent to proposal made to the then government headed by the President J.R. Jayewardene, thus enabling KDA to offer degrees in Defence Studies. Today, the KDU is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, United Kingdom.

An amendment bill was passed in Parliament on 18 March 2007 granting the status of a state university to the KDA.[1] On 11 October 2007 KDA was renamed as the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.[2]

KDU opened its southern campus at Sooriyawewa, Sri Lanka on 5 May 2015.[3]

In October 2015 the KDU began to enrol paying students from foreign militaries starting with a batch of technical officers from Oman Navy.[4]

Academic wing[edit]

The degree courses at the KDU run for two to five years. The officer cadets follow a course of study from the fields of medicine, law, engineering, management and technical sciences, commerce or arts. At the end of the second year, the officer cadets (other than the Engineering cadets who stay to complete their third-year studies) are sent to their military academies (Sri Lanka Military Academy, Diyatalawa; Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee; Air Force Academy, SLAF China Bay).

Since 2012 the university was opened for non-military students under a payment scheme.These students are allowed to enjoy the academic and other facilities that were available for cadets before.

Academic work is conducted under the direction of the Board of Studies and Board of Management by the Director of Academic Studies. There are eight academic departments. Each department consist of a Head of the Department, internal/visiting staff, and the library.


  • Defence Studies and Strategic Studies
  • Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biomedical Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Civil Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Marine Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mechatronic Engineering
  • Graduate Studies
  • Law
    • Bachelor of Laws
  • Management, Social Sciences and Humanities
    • Bachelor of Science in Logistics Management
    • Bachelor of Science in Management and Technical Sciences
    • Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Research and Development
  • Allied Health Sciences
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Physiotherapy
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Radiography
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Radiotherapy
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • Bachelor of Pharmacy
  • Computing
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computer Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computer Science
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Software Engineering
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Information Technology
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Information Systems
  • Built Environment and Spatial Sciences
    • Bachelor of Architecture
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Built Environment
    • Bachelor of Science in Built Environment
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Quantity Surveying
    • Bachelor of Science in Spatial Science
    • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Spatial Science

Commandants/ Vice Chancellors[edit]

KDA was renamed as KDU in year 2007 and until such time Chief Executive officer was the Commandant. However in 2007 after renaming as Kotelawala Defence University, Vice Chancellor is the Chief Executive of the University.

List of Vice Chancellors are as follows:

2008 Dec - 2016 Feb (Most served VC)

List of Commandants are as follows:

University Anthem[edit]

Lyrics for the anthem of KDU

KDU Southern Campus - Sooriyawewa[edit]

Several decades into the future, towards this present date, the capacity of Kotelawala Defence University was deemed insufficient to meet the growing demand of students and academics, and inspiration bloomed to broaden this network. Consequently, a corporate plan was developed in 2012 that foresaw a vision to establish campuses in the North and South. Thus, when the opportunity was provided to commence a University Village in Sooriyaweva, KDU accepted the brave challenge of becoming pioneers and establishing not only the Faculty of Computing, but also initiating the Faculty of Built Environment and Spatial Sciences from scratch on 140 acres of land vested by the government.

Due to the unremitting and steadfast commitment and contribution of the great minds behind the development of the Southern Campus, this harsh land was terra-formed and transformed into the present day institution that is rapidly making progress towards globally being a vital academic hub. Having started off from untamed land and the strength and allegiance to continue this project, this picturesque campus, surrounded by natural forests, scenic lakes, and breathtaking horizons, now comprises of two faculties and five departments, offering numerous degrees. The Southern Campus of KDU is currently home to approximately a hundred students, housed in living quarters provided by the university. Cadets and day scholars alike reside and learn cordially, creating an atmosphere of mutual understanding and comradeship. Furthermore, within barely a year, the university is now able to provide students with sports facilities, library facilities, computer labs, fully equipped architectural studios, latest laboratory equipment, and quality tertiary education.

This progress does not stop here. Future plans for the institution include initiating a flying school within the Southern Campus, using Maththala airport as a resource. Likewise, this is only the starting chapter of the book narrating the grand journey of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Southern Campus.

KDU University Teaching Hospital - Werahera[edit]

Our patients are at the heart of everything we do at UF Health. Our top priority is to provide the highest quality health care and the best possible experience for every patient, family member and visitor who walks through our doors. Hospitality and service are a state of mind — an approach that’s reflected in all our actions throughout the day. It starts with the way we support and treat each other as colleagues and internal customers. In turn, our relationships create the foundation for how we serve those who trust us with their care. We can make a positive impact with every interaction. By giving our caring attention to each customer — whether it is a patient, visitor or coworker — we create an environment where people feel acknowledged, understood, safe and valued.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ KDA becomes University, Bill passed in Parliament
  2. ^ President inaugurates General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
  3. ^ Ceremonial Opening of KDU Southern Campus at Sooriyawewa
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 29 October 2015.

External links[edit]