University of the Visual and Performing Arts
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සෞන්දර්යය කලා විශ්වවිද්යාලය
கட்புல, அரங்கேற்றக் கலைகள் பல்கலைக்கழகம்
Institute of Aesthetic Studies of the University of Ceylon |
College of Fine Arts
Heywood Institute of Art (Heywood College)
1893- School of Art|
2nd July 1952-Government College of Fine Arts
1974 – Institute of Aesthetic Studies of the University of Ceylon
1st July 2005-(Gained University Status) University of the Visual and Performing Arts
University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka,|
Association of Commonwealth Universities
|Chancellor||Prof. Sanath Nandasiri|
|Vice-Chancellor||Prof. Ariyarathne Kaluarachchi|
|Location||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|Language||Sinhala, Tamil and English|
|Sri Lanka University Games|
University of the Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA) (Sinhalese: සෞන්දර්ය හා කලා විශ්වවිද්යාලය,Tamil: கட்புல, அரங்கேற்றக் கலைகள் பல்கலைக்கழகம்) is a public university located primarily in Colombo, Sri Lanka, specialising in art, design, fashion and the performing arts. It was formerly known as the Government College of Fine Arts, Heywood Institute of Art and the Institute of Aesthetic Studies of the University of Ceylon. It has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1893. It is the only university in Sri Lanka to exclusively offer special degree programs in visual and performing arts.
The origin of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts can be traced back to 1893, the era in which the Ceylon Technical College was established. Drawing and Design were among the first courses to be taught there. Approximately five decades later, on the 1 October 1949, the Department of Arts and Aesthetics shifted its locality from Horton Place to Heywood College. The restructuring of the university system in Sri Lanka affiliated the institute to the University of Kelaniya in 1980. A Special Gazette Notice formally announced the creation of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts on 1 July 2005. Sarath Amunugama was assigned as First Vice Chancellor.
The University of the Visual and Performing Art has a history spanning over 120 years. The origin of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts can be traced back to 1893, the era in which the Ceylon Technical College was established. Among the first courses to be taught at the college were Drawing and Painting. On 1 October 1949, the Department of Drawing and Painting moved from the Technical College at Maradana to the ‘Heywood’ building at Horton place and was subsequently renamed as the ‘School of Art’. A diploma in Fine Arts was awarded to students upon the completion of five years of study. Prominent painter and teacher J.D.A. Perera was the first Principal of this institution.
On 2 July 1952, Music and Dance were included in to the curriculum and the institute became named as the ‘Government College of Fine Arts’. On 1 October 1953, the Departments of Music and Dance were moved to 21, Albert Crescent in Colombo 7, while the Art and Sculpture courses continued to be conducted at the ‘Heywood’ Building. Three years after this, in 1956, this institution was once again renamed as the ‘National Institute of Arts’and it was taken under the purview of Ministry of Education and converted into three schools, namely, School of Art and sculpture, School of Music and School of Dancing and Ballet. All schools came under the administration of Dr. Stanley Abeysinghe, Dr. Lionel Edirisinghe and Dr. S. Panibharatha respectively.
As a result of the first university Act of 1972, the institution became known as the Institute of Aesthetic studies and got affiliated to the University of Ceylon in 1974. The Institute had 03 Schools and an Academy, namely : School of Art and Sculpture, School of Music and School of Dancing and Ballet, and the Ramanathan Academy of Jaffna. In 1975, the Ramanathan Academy became affiliated with the University of Jaffna.
For the first time, in 1978, 63 students were awarded the’ Bachelor of Arts’ degree. Consequently, the restructuring of the University System in Sri Lanka brought about the affiliation of this Institute to the University of Kelaniya in 1980.
The special Gazette notice issued by her Excellency the President of Sri Lanka formally announced the establishment of the University of Visual and Performing Arts with effect from 1 July 2005. This University was founded in order to promote and develop the Visual and Creative Arts as well as to offer recognized higher educational qualifications in these spheres of study. The President appointed Dr. Lester James Peiris and Professor Sarath Amunugama as the first Chancellor and Vice Chancellor respectively. The University consists of three faculties, Dance and Drama, Music and Visual Arts and Jayasena Kottagoda, Sanath Nandasiri and Sarath Gunasiri Perera were elected as the first Deans of the faculties respectively.
There are 22 departments functioning under these three faculties. The present Chancellor of the university is Pandith W. D. Amaradeva and the Vice Chancellor is Jayasena Kottagoda, the first Vice Chancellor who is a former student of this institution. They were elected in to office in 2008. Currently, in his second term as Vice Chancellor to the UVPA, Kottagoda was also the first Professor, Senior Professor of this university apart from holding the post of the initial Dean of the Faculty of Dance and Drama.
Governance and administration
The University of the Visual and Performing Arts 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
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 Prof. Sanath Nandasiri.
Past Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors
- Gunadasa Kapuge
- Titus Thotawatte
- Priya Suriyasena
- Tissa Ranasinghe
- Malani Bulathsinhala
- Mahagama Sekara
- "Student Enrolmentof Sri Lankan Universities" (PDF). University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Heywood Realists hold exhibition". sundaytimes. 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- RANABAHU, Prasanna (2006). Tradition of Heywood. Theertha International Artists Collective (Pittakotte, Sri Lanka). ISBN 9551490126.
- Cheran, Rudhramoorthy, ed. Pathways of dissent: Tamil nationalism in Sri Lanka. SAGE Publications India, 2009