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About the Faculty

The Faculty of Science, established under the University Act No; 45 of 1958, started functioning in October 1967. Formal approval for the Faculty was given by the Minister of Education in 1968. Professor Milo Wolf, a physicist, arrived in early 1966 through the auspices of the Asia Foundation and proceeded with the initial tasks of actual planning for the setting up of a Faculty of Science at the University of Kelaniya. This Faculty was intended to be different in outlook and orientation from the conventional Faculties of Science then in existence. The rational behind this intention was that Sri Lanka in its industrialization effort needed Science graduates with an expertise and training different from the traditional variety.

Right from the days of establishment of the University in 1959, there existed a Department of Mathematics in the Faculty of Arts headed by Dr. S.B.P.Wickramasuriya. With the establishment of the Faculty of Science, the University proceeded to fill the Chairs in Chemistry, Physics and Zoology. These in fact were the first academic staff appointments to the Faculty of Science. The new appointee to the chair in Physics, Professor C.Dahanayake became the first Dean of the fledgling Faculty. The first batch of students numbering 57 was admitted in October 1967 and with the recruitment of members of the academic staff, the infant Faculty started its initial development programme and its academic activities.

The Faculty was housed in the main building known as the “Science Block”. Due to the continued increase in the student intake from year to year, a new Lecture Theatre Complex and an Auditorium were constructed in 1992. By 2003, a new laboratory complex for the Chemistry Department and three buildings for the Departments for Industrial Management, Microbiology and Zoology were completed. The present annual intake of students to the Faculty is 510.

The Faculty of Science of the University of Kelaniya was the first among the Sri Lankan Universities to initiate the change over from the traditional three subject (General) degree with end of year examinations to a more flexible Course Unit System, i.e. a modularized credit based system within a two-semester academic year with the end of semester examinations

Presently, the Faculty of Science consists of eight Academic Departments and offers six B.Sc. degree programmes. Faculty of Science also offers several M.Sc. Programmes and Postgraduate Diploma Programmes. The Faculty of Science also has facilities to conduct research leading to M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees

In addition to teaching, the Faculty members are involved in conducting research in their fields of specialization. A large number of research papers have been published by the academic staff in reputed local and international journals. Some staff members have won international and national awards for their research. These include the Prize for the Best Young Scientist and Best Research Awards awarded by the Third World Academy of Science, merit research awards awarded by the National Science Foundation, the international and national prizes for the new inventors, Presidential Research Awards and the Vidya Nidhi National title.

Several link programmes with foreign institutes have helped to develop research and teaching in the Faculty. In addition the Asian Development Bank has helped to develop the postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Science. In 2004, the Biological Sciences Study Programme was successful in competing for a grant of about Rs.70 Million from the World Bank for improvement of relevance and quality of undergraduate education (IRQUE project) with an objective of further enhancing the employability of graduates while improving social and intercultural harmony.

The alumni of the Faculty of Science hold many high positions both in the government and private sector. The Alumni Association of the Faculty of Science annually awards several scholarships for needy students and gold medals for the best students of all the B.Sc. (Special) degree programmes. In addition, many other prizes and scholarships are awarded to the students who excel in their academic activities.

Due to continuous revision of syllabuses and introduction of new course units, the Faculty is producing science graduates who are employable without much difficulty. The Faculty will continue to do so with the dedication of its staff.