Revolutionary Development of Computer Education — A Success Story

  • Nandasara S.T. 
  • Samaranayake V. K. 
  • Yoshiki Mikami
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 215)


The University of Colombo, Sri Lanka has been in the forefront of the “Computer Revolution” in Sri Lanka. It has introduced the teaching of computer programming and applications as early as in 1967, more than a decade before other educational institutions, thereby producing, over the years, a large number of pioneer computer scientists and IT graduates out of students entering the university from a variety of disciplines. They are presently employed as researchers, educators, data processing managers, analyst programmers, software engineers and in many others in the professional field of information technology, not only in Sri Lanka but also in other countries. Established in 1870 as the Ceylon Medical College by the government of that day under the leadership of Governor Sir Hercules Robinson, the University of Colombo could claim to have been associated with higher education for over 130 years. The University has become a center of excellence of international repute that contributes significantly towards national development and human resource development in the field on computer science and information communication technology, particularly in the South and South East Asian Region. This paper presents the milestones of the success story, which did not occur without a policy, plan, leadership, group work, collaboration, and donor support.


Statistical Unit Information Communication Technology Japan International Cooperation Agency South East Asian Region Consultancy Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. [1]
    UNPAN, Report on e-Government Benchmarking, (2003)Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Report on the Regional ICT Manpower and Skills Survey 1999–2000, Southeast Asia Regional Computer Confederation (SEARCC).Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Development Plan of the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, (1975).Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Proposal for the purchase of a mini computer for the University of Colombo, (1980).Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Samaranayake, V. K., A Brief Note on the Activities and Future Plans of the University of Colombo on the Development of Computer Applications in Science, Proceeding of the Third National Computer Seminar, Computer Society of Sri Lanka, (1982).Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Reeves, C. M., On the Introduction of Computer Science in to Degree Studies in Sri Lanka — A report to the Ministry of Higher Education, (1983).Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Glossary of Technical Terms, Dept. of Educational Publication, Government Press, Sri Lanka, (1956).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    A National Computer Policy for Sri Lanka — Report of the special working committee of the Natural Resources, Energy and Science Authority of Sri Lanka, (1983).Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Stern, R. D., Statistical Software on Microcomputers, Proceeding of the Annual Sessions of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka, (1984)Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Proposal for the Establishment of a Computer Centre, A Department of Computer Science and Statistics and the commencement of a Postgraduate Diploma Courses in Computer Science submitted to the University Grants Commission, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, (1984).Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    A Proposal for the Establishment of an Institute of Computer Technology with the assistance from the Japanese Government, (1982), Revised Versions (1983 & 1985).Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Samaranayake, V. K., Report of the visit to Singapore and Japan in connection with the Institute of Computer Technology Project, (1984).Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Stern, R. D., Burn, R., Abeysekera, S., Nandasara, S. T., Samaranayake, V. K., Kodikara, N. D., “The Need for Good Statistical Software on Microcomputers for Agricultural Research in Sri Lanka”, Microcomputers for Development: Issues and Policy. (1985).Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Nandasara, S. T., Kusuma A. Gunawardena, Liyanage, W. M., “Data Analysis: Then and Now”, Proceedings of the Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science. (1987).Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Ordinance establishing the Institute of Computer Technology, under the Universities Act (1987).Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Ordinance establishing the University of Colombo School of Computing, under the Universities Act (2000).Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Samaranayake V. K., “An Overview of Human Resources-needs, availability and plans for the future”. Proceedings of the 21st National IT Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, (2002).Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Samaranayake V. K., “Fifty Years of Information Technology” A chapter in “Fifty Years of Sri Lanka’s Independence-A Socio-Economic Review.” Ed. A.V. de S. Indraratne Colombo, (1998).Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Samaranayake, V. K., “Five Decades of Education at Reid Avenue: Some Personal Reflections, University of Colombo Review (to be published in the University of Colombo Review) (2006).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nandasara S.T. 
    • 1
  • Samaranayake V. K. 
    • 1
  • Yoshiki Mikami
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) No. 35Colombo 3Sri Lanka
  2. 2.Nagaoka University of TechnologyNagaoka, NiigataJapan

Personalised recommendations