Griffith University & Sri Lankan Research

Jayatilleke Bandaralage
May 10, 2022

Sri Lanka has had significant involvement with GriffithUniversity, through various projects that are focussed on the education of industry professionals and the betterment of the Sri Lankan-Australian relationship.

Griffith University has strong links with Sri Lanka, varying throughout the higher education industry, and it have been a pleasure to be involved in progressing this partnership. We are one of the few Australian leading universities with internationally known academics, and Higher DegreeResearch students, with Sri Lankan origins. Griffith University has trained a large number of PhD students from Sri Lanka, many of whom have returned home to serve their country. A group of academics, whom I was chosen to oversee, undertook research on the Sri Lankan economy and carried out multiple assignments, funded by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. I was also involved in the completion of the first short training course for Doctor of BusinessAdministration (DBA) students from the Keleniya University in Sri Lanka inFebruary 2018.

Participants of the DFAT fellowship program fromSri Lankan Universities in 2016. 

There have been several projects delivered by Griffith which have continued to develop the mutually beneficial relationship between Sri Lanka andAustralia, such as:

·      2021: Australia Awards South Asia - Multi sectoral Approaches toNutrition and Food Security - short course capacity building program for 25participants

·      2017 and 2019: Australia Awards South Asia - Sustainable TourismDevelopment short course capacity building program with 2 cohorts of 25participants from the Sri Lankan government, training institutes and private sector

·      2017: Australia Awards Fellowship - Macro-economic management for effective governance and sustainable inclusive economic growth for participants from the Ministry of Finance

·      2016: Australia Awards South West Asia Investigative Interviewing for Police Officers & Police Trainers for 25 police officers and police trainers from 15 different divisions across the Sri Lanka Police Service attended to develop capacity of trainers in investigative interviewing in dealing with cases of gender-based violence

·      2016: Australia Awards Fellowship - Developing economic research to support priority economic and social goals with the University GrantsCommission with participants from seven central and regional universities

·      2015: Capacity Building for Census Department to conduct post-war census – with the Department of Census & Statistics (funded by theAustralian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, DFAT)

·      2013-2014: Supporting for Planning and policy, Phase 1: PreparingNational Accounts and Developing an Input-Output Model for Sri Lanka, and PhaseII: Supporting for Policy and Planning Formulation in Sri Lanka (funded by theAsian Development Bank).

This relationship is one that we, as an organisation, continue to strive to nurture so that it will continue to thrive as time goes on. Griffith University has signed Memorandums of Understanding with various Sri Lankan institutions, which continue to enhance our valuable relationship, such as the UniversityGrant Commission in Sri Lanka, several Sri Lankan universities, and the SriLanka Institute of Information Technology, as well as organising a course fee waiver for 10 university academic staff to be able to attend Griffith. The Sri Lankan Alumni community and Griffith have developed an ongoing relationship through which to maintain links and conduct events. Our first ever Sri Lankan Alumni dinner was held at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo in 2018. We hope that this relationship will continue to prosper far into the future, with numerous events being planned.

5 June, 2018, 1st GU-SL Alumni Community Dinner held in Hilton Hotel inColombo, Sri Lanka. Professor David Grant, PVC (GBS) led the GU delegation. 

The anniversary of Sri Lanka and Australia’s diplomatic relations is one that brings me great pride, as I can look back on the rewarding work that I have been involved with. I hope that achievements like this continue asGriffith University and Sri Lanka continue to develop as partners in the global education industry.