Established with the vision of providing guaranteed pathways for Sri Lankan students to enter into globally ranked top universities, Universal College Lanka (UCL) has a proven track-record with its exclusive partnerships with Monash College Australia and University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC).Committed to providing high quality education, UCL has partnered with University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), UK to provide 4-year British Degree programmes for students aspiring to pursue their higher education dreams from right here in Sri Lanka. Candidates possessing A/L’s would be able to join directly to the degree programme while those having passed O/L’s can join the degree programme after following the UCL international foundation year (UIFY).
Commencing in Feb 2017, UCL is starting the Foundation Year leading to 4-year British degrees (3 years fulltime study and 1 year work placement) offered in Sri Lanka in partnership with University of Central Lancashire, UK. University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is the 8th largest university in the UK and it had been helping over 100,000 students from all walks of life to make the most of their potential and succeed in their life ambitions. At present, UCLan house for a staff and student community approaching 38,000. In terms of overall student numbers, UCLan rests comfortably within the UK’s top 10 modern universities. The University has students and researchers from over 100 countries and has successfully established partnerships with 125 international institutions. Expanding the opportunities for Sri Lankan students to gain international exposure and be qualified with a globally recognised Degree programme, UCLan has signed up with UCL to offer quality education to local students. UCL International Foundation Year (UIFY) enables aspiring students to start after O/L’s and complete the entire degree in Sri Lanka.
Speaking about the rationale and prospects of a Foundation Program for students, Dr. Dhananjay Kulkarni, Dean – UCL stated, “Modern communication technologies have collapsed distance and time, while Globalisation has condensed the barriers and boarders. World has changed its ways and means slowly but surely where the speed has been adopted in to each of our lifestyles, and to every activity. Even if there's no need to hurry, "faster" has become the normative way we do things today. This impatience may be attributed to our busier lifestyles. In a world with such fast-pace lifestyles, one’s success depends on how you set yourself apart, start early and equip yourself with the skills needed in the industry.In catering to this requirement of speed, the higher education industry has designed pathway programmes and similar fast-track programmes. Many renowned Universities across the Globe have introduced fast-track Foundation programmes to allow for accelerated entry into Undergraduate studies.”
Speaking about the pathway for students competing the UCL International Foundation Year (UIFY), Dr. Ochini Madanayake, Programme Leader– UCLan degrees, explained that “The International Foundation Year provides the pathway for students to develop the skills and knowledge required to commence their undergraduate studies in selected disciplines. With the successful completion of the UIFY, students can directly enter into the 1st year of a Degree programme offered by the University of Central Lancashire, UK.The students will be able to pursue and complete all four years of the degree at our modern campus in Rajagiriya.”
What do students learn in the UIFY programme?
The programme emphasizes on developing competencies in the English Language & Communication Skills with the focus of preparing students for higher studies in specialized disciplines such as Computing and Business.
• English Language Skills
The module aims to improve skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, hence, enables the student to acquire a broad range of knowledge which can be used to confidently and effectively communicate in English.
• Communication Skills
Equips the student with the essential skills needed in studying for a degree program. The student will learn the basic skills necessary to carryout independent research, write academic papers, and to present their work in a formal setting.
• Analytical & Problem Solving Skills
Builds upon the existing knowledge of the student in the area of mathematics whilst introducing new topics appropriate across a range of academic disciplines.
• Subject specific Skills (Electives based on chosen stream)
These modules will form the basis for the destination degree. The UIFY offers specialization subjects in Computing and Business.
While explaining the model and which type of prospective students were likely to benefit, Mr. Thepul Ginige, Progamme Coordinator- UIFY stated, “A University Foundation, as the name itself implies is a pre-university qualification which is ideally suitable for students wanting to begin and speed up their higher education with the O/L qualification. It is a stepping stone which provides you the basis needed to succeed in university education, especially, for students who have already identified their education and career aspirations early in consultation with their parents and mentors.Upon successful completion of the UIFY, students may enter the 1st year of the BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering or BA (Hons) in International Business. Students may also transfer credits to UK universities that recognize the UIFY curriculum which has been compiled to meet international standards.”
Top 10 Teaching Practices that define Academic Excellence at UCL
1. Internationally qualified and experienced lecturers
2. Small class sizes
3. Close interaction between students and staff
4. State-of-the art lab facilities
5. Modern library and e-learning facilities
6. Field visits incorporated into teaching methods
7. Guest lectures by Industry experts
8. Expert academic counselling
9. Availability of all lecturers on campus for consultation and academic support
10. Well-planned pathway for each student considering student career aspirations