A historic institutional agreement between the British Computer Society (BCS), The Chartered Institute for IT and the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) has been signed in January 2022. The Organisational Membership agreement which was tabled by His Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Defence, has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in 2021. The agreement for a foreign Chartered body to partner with a leading university in the state is the first of its kind to receive approval from the Cabinet of Ministers. This becomes the first BCS Organisational Membership during BCS operation in Sri Lanka for more than 20 years.
Major General Millinda Peiris, the Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University commented on the monumental partnership and mentioned, “The historic agreement with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT is one of the prestigious partnerships we have been looking forward to. In this digital age, education in IT is of paramount importance, and this agreement will enable our staff and students to attain the knowledge and skills that they require to further enhance their career.”
The Organisational membership benefits of this agreement are vast and members get access to several resources that may improve skills and knowledge, mentoring and discounted training opportunities, access to the SFIA plus industry knowledge, webinars, workshops, and joint activities. The agreement also entails membership subscriptions for the academic staff of the Faculty of Computing. The Dean FOC, KDU, Dr.Asela Gunasekara stated “with this partnership, KDU will gain many opportunities to enhance the professional skills of the academic community in the university. Also, members of the Faculty of Computing will earn a network with professionals to look through different dimensions in Computing research”
Deepashika Gunasekara, the Regional Manager of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Asia, stated “This historic agreement with KDU is just a beginning of what we hope will be a fruitful partnership going forward. It is a great step in furthering the spectrum of higher education in Sri Lanka. We are looking forward to opening our doors to the faculty and the students of KDU”.
Holly Porter, Membership Director of BCS, The Chartered Institute of IT also shared her thoughts “This partnership opens the doors to many possibilities in the future. Being the first of its kind, it paves the way forward for other institutions to come together and raise the bar in the quality of the higher education offering in Sri Lanka.”
BCS expects this to be a model which could be replicable with many other academic establishments in the Asia region.
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