University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka



Revitalizing higher education for sustainable development

Prof. Sarath Amunugama

PhD (University of Sorbonne, France)

Professor Emeritus

Former Vice- Chancellor,
University of Kelaniya and University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Sri Lanka

Professor Sarath Amunugama obtained his higher education in 1970  from University of Peradeniya and was offered a scholarship from University of Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle’ to study French language where he also completed his Bachelor’s Degree, Postgraduate diploma in teaching French , his Masters in modern French Literature and his Ph. D. in Didactics of Languages. Prof. Amunugama has held the responsibilities of the University as the Head of the Department of Modern Languages, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and as the founder Vice – Chancellor of the Visual and Performing Arts. Prof. Amunugama was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya for two consecutive terms from 2008. He was honored with the highest order of Knighthood for academic excellence conferred by His Excellency the President of France. Professor Sarath Amunugama is very much enthusiastic about his career as a teacher and is planning to continue to serve the youth of the country by helping them in their education, to develop their academic and also their personality skills.

Plenary Speakers


Revamping higher education with the application of innovative technology

Professor Bimali M Jayawardena

PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Prof.  Bimali Jayawardena has been involved with the higher education sector for the last 30 years in Sri Lanka and abroad. She is serving as the current Dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya. She has a PhD degree in Biochemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago, USA and a Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Chemistry from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has served as a post-doctoral researcher in USA, commonwealth fellow in United Kingdom and as an adjunct senior lecturer and senior research fellow in Australia.  She is interested in promoting STEM education in Sri Lanka and is a strong advocate in promoting innovations and soft skills in the curriculum of tertiary education.  She has obtained patent for developing value added products using Sri Lankan essential oils and currently she is pursuing a project to develop nutraceutical to control type II diabetics.  She was a recipient of presidential awards for pursuing research and the Vice chancellor award for securing highest amount of external research funding from the Faculty of Science in 2017.


Empowering educational dynamics through the transformation of curricula

Professor Maithree Wickramasinghe

PhD (University of London, UK)

Chair and Senior Professor

Department of English  

University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Maithree Wickramasinghe (PhD) is the Chair and Senior Professor of English at the Department of English and the founding Director of the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. She is also a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER), University of Sussex, United Kingdom, and the Postgraduate Program on Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Colombo.
Her work spans a number of subjects/disciplines as evinced by her numerous publications which include Towards Gender Equity / Equality: A Scan of Gender Sensitive Laws, Policies and Programs (2012), Feminist Research Methodology – Making Meanings of Meaning Making (2010), Beyond Glass Ceilings and Brick Walls – Gender at the Workplace, co-authored with Wijaya Jayatilake (2006), Gender Dimensions in Disaster Management co-authored with Madhavi Malalgoda Ariyabandhu (2003/2005) (translated into Urdhu, Hindi, Tamil and Sinhala). She is also the author of From Theory to Action - Women, Gender and Development (2000). Professor Wickramasinghe was an Associate Editor of the Wiley Blackwell Encyclopaedia on Gender and Sexuality Studies (2016) which runs into five volumes. Other work includes an influential training module An Introduction to Gender Mainstreaming Universities (2010) for the Association of Commonwealth Universities, UK.
An expert on gender, she is a scholar whose work interfaces research, teaching/training, policy development, evaluation, advocacy, and activism. She counts over twenty-five years of experience in formulating gender equity and equality polices/strategies, conducting gender sensitization trainings and evaluating women’s and gender programs for local and international organizations. Over the years, she has worked with a number of UN organizations including the ILO, UNFPA and UNESCO, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), CARE International and Practical Action as well as the Sri Lanka University Grants Commission (UGC). She is currently a member of the Gender Advisory Group for the Gender Program of the ACU, the Standing Committee on Gender Equity/Equality of the UGC, the Board of Studies of the Postgraduate Institute of English of the Open University, the Faculty Board of the Postgraduate Faculty of the University of Colombo and the Medical Ethics Review Committee and Clinical Trials Committee of the University of Colombo. She is also a member of the Research Council and the Ethics Review Committee of the University of Kelaniya. Professor Wickramasinghe has been invited to deliver keynotes and speak at plenaries for academic and professional organizations in Sri Lanka and across the globe. 

Integrating academia and industry for sustainable development

Professor Mangalika Hettiarachchi

PhD (University of Nigeria, Nigeria)

Senior Professor

Department of Zoology and Environmental Management

Faculty of Science

University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Mangalika Hettiarachchi obtained her B.Sc degree in 1978 from Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and joined the same university as a permanent academic staff member in 1979.  In 1988, she got her Ph.D degree under a Commonwealth Scholarship, became a Professor in 2005 and a Senior Professor in 2013 and has been serving the Department of Zoology and Environmental Management, University of Kelaniya. Her major areas of research are related to export oriented edible shrimp culture and ornamental fish culture of Sri Lanka.