In 2006 we established a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Ruhuna which lies in the tsunami-devastated Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Present academic links with Ruhuna include:
- Community health, nutrition, bio-chemistry and medical ethics
- Biological sciences and crop sciences
- Environmental understanding, buddhist studies, Eastern thought, ethics and other areas of the arts and humanaties
- Engineering including bio-medical engineering, new and renewable energy and sustainable waste management
- Various areas of physical and human geography
- Business management including small business development, enterprise and micro-finance.
Colleagues in Durham’s English Studies Department have contributed very significantly to the development of a new Department of English Studies and English Language Teaching at Ruhuna by assisting with the development of the curriculum and by donating a substantial collection of personal books to the new library of English Studies.
In January 2008 Durham was pleased to host a visit from the Vice-Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, which lies in the inland Sabaragamuwa Province. He and our own Vice-Chancellor signed a Memorandum of Understanding for academic collaborations between our institutions.
Initial academic areas being taken forwards as a result of this partnership include:
- Buddhism and applied ethics
- Enterprise and Entrepreneurial learning
- Environmental thinking and the 'green campus'
- Sports and sports science
- Community-based social work and social policy
- Information and Communications technology and software development
- Areas of geographical, agricultural and biological science.
In February 2009, Project Sri Lanka Director signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chairman of the National Institute of Fisheries and Nautical Engineering in Sri Lanka at its main campus in Colombo.
Colleagues from Durham will be conducting staff development workshops at this institution in a variety of areas.
Academic partnership initiatives focus on:
- Research into the needs and socio-economic problems of fishing communities
- Disaster management
- Sea level change
- Land/ocean interaction
- Coastal Ecology
- Navigation technology
- Ecology and human well-being.
In July 2009 a Memorandum of Understanding was duly signed by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Professor Kshanika Hirimburegama and Professor Joy Palmer-Cooper, Director of Project Sri Lanka. The coat of arms of the University of Colombo bears the motto in Sanskrit script "Buddhi Sarvatra Bhrajate" which means "Wisdom shines forth everywhere".
Our partnership with the University of Colombo was launched by the conduct of academic workshops by Durham staff in Colombo (Dr Helen Hancock and Dr Sharyn Maxwell in the field of health and research methods and Ms Anji Rae in the field of staff development for teaching and research); also by the participation of Project Sri Lanka student teams in the teaching of English and Sports during their 2009 placements.
Academic areas included in our partnership links with the University of Colombo are:
- Medicine and health
- English studies
- The entrepreneurial university
- Social work
- Medical ethics
- Various scientific fields.