Two brilliant Sri Lankan academics with remarkable experience in international relations visit NSF

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Prof. Ananda Kumara, President of the Japanese Association for Global Competency Education and founder Dean, Faculty of Foreign Studies at Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan. and Prof. Janaka Ruwanpura, Vice Provost and Associate Vice-President Research of the University of Calgary, Canada visited the NSF on 21 December 2023 and held extensive discussions with Prof. Ranjith Senaratne, Chairman of the NSF on how to harness Sri Lankan expatriates for national development.

Prof. Ananda Kumara is the first foreigner and Sri Lankan to be awarded the prestigious Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President’s Award for his invaluable contribution to Japan. Recently, he was installed as the President of the Japanese Association for Global Competency Education and is also the Vice President of the Sri Lanka Academics Association of Japan. In addition, he serves as the founding President/Vice Chancellor of the Lanka Nippon BizTech Institute (LNBTI) which is committed to producing globally competent IT professionals.

Prof. Ruwanpura has been the Vice-Provost International of the University of Calgary since 2013 and was a winner of the prestigious Top-25 Canadian Immigrant Award in 2022. He has been the former executive chair of the Commission of International Initiatives of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and is the first Canadian and non-American to chair any APLU councils and commissions. His transformative leadership has led to the University of Calgary winning several excellence and innovation awards in the realm of internationalization. He is a member of the US National Academy of Construction.

Discussion with them was very productive and stimulating, which laid the foundation for a mutually rewarding enduring partnership. Prof. Senaratne along with the International Affairs Division will take necessary follow-up action in order to make it a reality.