University of Jaffna

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University of Jaffna
யாழ்ப்பாணப் பல்கலைக்கழகம்
යාපනය විශ්වවිද්‍යාලය
UoJ logo.png
Former names
University of Sri Lanka (Jaffna Campus)
Motto மெய்ப்பொருள் காண்பதறிவு
Motto in English
Discernment is wisdom
Type Public
Established August 1, 1974 (1974-08-01)
Budget Rs. 827 million
Chancellor S. Pathmanathan
Vice-Chancellor Vasanthy Arasaratnam
Registrar V. Kandeepan
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 5,721
Undergraduates 5,257
Postgraduates 443
Location Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka
9°41′04.90″N 80°01′18.90″E / 9.6846944°N 80.0219167°E / 9.6846944; 80.0219167Coordinates: 9°41′04.90″N 80°01′18.90″E / 9.6846944°N 80.0219167°E / 9.6846944; 80.0219167
Campus Multiple campuses
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities

The University of Jaffna (Tamil: யாழ்ப்பாணப் பல்கலைக்கழகம், Sinhalese: යාපනය විශ්වවිද්‍යාලය, abbreviated UoJ) is a public university in the city of Jaffna in Sri Lanka.[1] Established in 1974 as the sixth campus of the University of Sri Lanka, it became an independent, autonomous university in 1979. Like all public universities in Sri Lanka, UoJ receives the bulk of its funding from the University Grants Commission (UGC), part of the Ministry of Higher Education in Colombo. The UGC and the central government therefore exert a great deal of control over the university.

UoJ has two campuses — the main campus in Thirunelvely in Jaffna and a second campus in Vavuniya. It also has facilities in Kilinochchi, Kaithady and Maruthanarmadam near Chunnakam. It has ten faculties (Agriculture, Applied Science, Arts, Business Studies, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Management Studies & Commerce, Medicine, Science and Technology) and nine other academic centers. The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses that award degrees including BA, BBA, BBM, BCom, BFA, BICT, B.Pharm, BSc, BSc(Nur), BSc(MLS), BSc(Agr), LLB, MA, MEd, MBBS and MSc.

The university had 5,721 students and 1,192 employees in 2011.[2] It is the eighth largest university in Sri Lanka in student numbers.[2] In 2010/11 the university admitted 1,581 undergraduates.[3] UoJ had a recurrent budget of Rs. 827 million and a capital budget of Rs. 316 million in 2011.[4] Its income in 2011 was Rs. 1,159 million of which 99% was grant from the government in Colombo.[4]

The chancellor and vice-chancellor are professors S. Pathmanathan and Vasanthy Arasaratnam respectively.[5][6] UoJ is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.[7]


University of Sri Lanka Jaffna campus[edit]

On 15 July 1974 Badi-ud-din Mahmud, Minister of Education and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Sri Lanka, declared that the sixth campus of the University of Sri Lanka would be established in Jaffna.[8][9] Dr. K. Kailasapathy, head of the Department of Tamil and Hindu studies of the Vidyalankara campus of the University of Sri Lanka, was appointed as the first president of the Jaffna campus.[9] Extraordinary gazette no. 121/15 was published on 25 July 1974 establishing the Jaffna Campus.[9] The new campus started functioning on 1 August 1974 at the Parameswara College premises in Thirunelvely some 4 km north of Jaffna city centre.[8][9] Parameswara College had been founded in 1921 by P. Ramanathan.

The campus had approval for three faculties (Humanities, Law and Science) and one department (Physical Education). Only the Humanities and Science faculties were functioning when the campus started taking students in October 1974.[8][9] The Faculty of Humanities and campus administration were based at Thirunelvely. The Faculty of Science was based at the undergraduate section of Jaffna College, Vaddukoddai which had been taken over by the government on 13 August 1974.[8][9]

The Faculty of Humanities was renamed Faculty of Arts in 1975. The Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts, based at Ramanathan College in Maruthanarmadam, was taken over by the Jaffna Campus on 1 December 1975.[8][9] The Faculty of Science moved to Thirunelvely in June 1978 and the Jaffna College site was returned to its former owners the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India. The Faculty of Medicine was established on 7 August 1978 with its base at the Ayurvedic Hospital in Kaithady.[8][9]

University of Jaffna[edit]

University of Jaffna.jpg

The Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 radically altered university education in Sri Lanka. The University of Sri Lanka was abolished and its six campuses (Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya, Moratuwa and Jaffna) were each elevated to independent, autonomous universities. A gazette was issued on 22 December 1978 establishing the University of Jaffna with effect from 1 January 1979.[8][9]

The Faculty of Medicine was shifted to Thirunelvely in 1981. Construction of a new library, student centre and arts block began in 1981 but were halted due to the civil war. The Siddha section of the Institute of Indigenous Medicine was moved from the University of Colombo to the University of Jaffna in July 1984.[8][9] The partially completed library started functioning in 1986.

The escalation of hostilities between the Indian Peace Keeping Force and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in late 1987 severely affected the university. UoJ buildings and equipment suffered extensive damage. Students and academic/non-academic staff were killed.[9] During the late 1980s/early 1990s, when most of the Jaffna peninsula including Jaffna city was under LTTE control, the university suffered frequent aerial bombings, shortage of essential goods due to the economic blockade, shortage of academic staff many of whom had fled abroad and a general disturbance of academic life due the frequent curfews.[9]

The university was given approval in 1985 to establish a Faculty of Agriculture in Kilinochchi.[10] Construction of a new building in Kilinochchi began in 1986 but was abandoned in 1987 due to the civil war.[10] In October 1989 approval was given to establish a Faculty of Engineering in Kilinochchi, but the civil war prevented this.[9] The Faculty of Agriculture started functioning in December 1990 at buildings belonging to the Regional Agriculture Research and Development Centre and the District Training Centre of Department of Agriculture in Kilinochchi.[8][9][10]

In October 1995, as the Sri Lankan military launched a military offensive to recapture the Jaffna peninsula, virtually the entire population of the Valikamam region fled to other parts of the peninsula and the Vanni. The university administration was transferred to the Faculty of Agriculture in Kilinochchi.[8][9] Most of the equipment and furniture at Thirunelvely was lost during the absence. The university's administration returned to Thirunelvely in 1996 after the military had recaptured most of the peninsula including Jaffna city.[8][9] The escalation of hostilities in the Vanni in 1996 caused severe disruption to the Faculty of Agriculture which was forced to move several times.[10] The University Council decided to move the faculty. In August 1997 studies re-commenced at the faculty's new premises in Jaffna.[10]

A gazette was issued on 26 March 1997 upgrading the Northern Province Affiliated University College (NPAUC) in Vavuniya to the Vavuniya campus of the University of Jaffna.[9] The NPAUC was established in 1991 to offer courses in mathematical sciences, accountancy and finance. The Vavuniya Campus had two faculties - Applied Science and Business Studies - each with two departments.[8][9] In 1999 the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce was created from parts of the Faculty of Arts.[8] The Faculty of Graduate Studies was created in the same year.[8]

Construction of a new building for the Faculty of Agriculture at Ariviyal Nagar, Kilinochchi began after the end of the civil war in 2009.[10] The faculty expects to relocate to Ariviyal Nagar in 2013.[10] In April 2011 the university's senate approved the establishment of a Faculty of Engineering in Kilinochchi next to the Faculty of Agriculture. The first batch of students are expected to be admitted in September 2012.

The Faculty of Technology was established in 2016.[11] The faculty is expected to admit its first students towards the end of 2016.[11] It will be located near the Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Engineering in Kilinochchi.[11]


Entrance of University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka

The university is at five locations: Thirunelvely, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Kaithady and Maruthanarmadam.

The Thirunelvely campus is split into two. The main site off Ramanathan Road contains three faculties -Arts, Management Studies & Commerce and Science - as well as the main administrative departments, library and student complex. The second site off Adiyapatham Road contains the Medicine and Agriculture faculties. The Faculty of Graduate Studies is based in a rented house on Ramanathan Road opposite the university.

The Vavuniya campus is based at several sites in the town as well as in the outskirts of Vavuniya. The campus plans move all its functions to the spacious Pambaimadhu site on the Mannar-Vavuniya Road. This site houses the Faculty of Business Studies and student hostels. The Faculty of Applied Science is in Vavuniya.

Buildings to house the faculties of Agriculture and Engineering are being constructed at Ariviyal Nagar, Kilinochchi.

The Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts is in Marthanamadam and the Siddha Medicine Unit is in Kaithady.

Organisation and administration[edit]

The chancellor is professor S. Pathmanathan.[5][6] The vice-chancellor is professor Vasanthy Arasaratnam who took office on 28 March 2011.[5][12] She is the first female vice-chancellor of the university.[12][13] The current rector of the Vavuniya Campus is K. K. Arulvel.[5][6] Senior non-academic staff include registrar V. Kandeepan, bursar S. C. Ramakrishnan and acting librarian S. Arulanantham.[6][14][15]

The University of Jaffna has ten faculties and other academic centers/units and other departments:[16]

Noted people[edit]


  1. ^ "University of Jaffna". University Grants Commission (Sri Lanka). 
  2. ^ a b "Chapter - 1 - General information" (PDF). Sri Lanka University Statistics 2011. University Grants Commission (Sri Lanka). 
  3. ^ "Chapter - 2 - University Admissions" (PDF). Sri Lanka University Statistics 2011. University Grants Commission (Sri Lanka). 
  4. ^ a b "Chapter - 5 - Finance" (PDF). Sri Lanka University Statistics 2011. University Grants Commission (Sri Lanka). 
  5. ^ a b c d "Office of the Vice-Chancellor". University of Jaffna. 
  6. ^ a b c d "The Principal Officers of the University of Jaffna". University of Jaffna. 
  7. ^ "Members in Sri Lanka". Association of Commonwealth Universities. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "About Us". University of Jaffna. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Establishment of the Jaffna Campus of the University of Sri Lanka". University of Jaffna. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "History of the Faculty of Agriculture". Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna. 
  11. ^ a b c "Jaffna University gets a Technology Faculty". Ceylon Today. 3 May 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Vasanthi Arasaratnam becomes Vice Chancellor, Jaffna University". TamilNet. 31 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Palakidnar, Anath (10 April 2011). "Jaffna University gets first woman VC". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 
  14. ^ "Executive Officers of the University of Jaffna". University of Jaffna. 
  15. ^ "Academic Staff". University of Jaffna Library. 
  16. ^ "Academic Entities". University of Jaffna. 

External links[edit]