By definition, internationalization is the process of integrating an international, inter-cultural and global dimension into the goals of a higher education institute. It involves changes to the teaching and learning environment, research and service functions. An internationalized curriculum and co-curriculum ensure that all students are exposed to international perspectives and build global competencies. Internationalization takes many forms. The most common forms are co-taught courses, open online courses, collaborative research projects, student exchanges, study abroad programs, foreign language courses etc. The benefits of internationalization are many and varied. There are ample examples to conclude that internationalization helped universities to increase the quality and relevance of their education, research and service to society.
Being a state educational institute with a clear mandate, the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Peradeniya promotes internationalization as a strategy to achieve its own goals. It does not consider internationalization as a goal in itself. Rather, internationalization is used as a strategy to complement, harmonize and extend the local dimension. Within these limits, the Faculty has committed to internationalization since its inception. Over ninety five per cent of the academic staff of the faculty has been trained to Ph.D. level in well recognized universities in the developed countries, and this strategy is continuing. The academic staffs have been engaged in collaborative research with foreign partners in foreign universities, international organizations, NGOs etc. Time to time, groups of foreign students had joined some of the batches of students and followed courses offered by the Faculty of Agriculture. Visits of research students and academic staff to participate international conferences, workshops etc. have been frequent in the Faculty of Agriculture.
MOUs with world leading Universities to exchange students, staff
Annual student exchange programs
Foreign students visit the Faculty each year
Students participate in foreign exposures per year
The Agriculture Education Unit of the Faculty offers study abroad programs for foreign students. The Agribusiness Centre of the Faculty involves with foreign organizations to conduct projects related to agribusiness whereas the Agricultural Biotechnology Centre conduct joint biotechnological research with foreign counterparts.
At present a considerable number of students are being exposed to foreign exposure and experience. A limited number of undergraduate students also attend in-plant trainings and conduct their final year research projects in foreign universities and institutes.
In response to internationalization, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya will establish new models for cooperation, extending our reach to the whole world under the theme of “Bring Sri Lanka to the world and bring the world to Sri Lanka!”. The Faculty further strengthen existing internationalization activities and introduce or and modify new activities to bring an international dimension to all feasible aspects of the curriculum to achieve its institutional goals.
Through this process, students are able to acquire new knowledge and skills as well as broaden their horizons by studying abroad. After returning home, they are encouraged to share their valuable experiences with their fellow students. In doing so, those who stay in Sri Lanka will also be able to broaden their horizons, and international cultures can become an integral part of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya.