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The Peradeniya MBA:

A rising star in management education in Sri Lanka

The University of Peradeniya has been a pioneer in carving out the intellectual traditions of Sri Lanka. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programme offered by the University, commemorates ten years of distinguished contribution to business and management education in the nation this year.

The University of Peradeniya MBA is distinctly different than other MBA programmes in the country.

The institute’s commitment to retaining a world-class teaching panel, ensuring rigorous academic study, empowering its students, pricing within reach of many a Sri Lankan, and continuous improvement of the programme itself sets it apart from other programmes.

The Peradeniya MBA is a platform for Sri Lanka’s aspiring business leaders to transform their lives, their careers, and their country.

The Peradeniya MBA Story

The MBA programme was initiated in 1998 with just 20 students. It was the first MBA Programme offered in Sri Lanka outside Colombo, and the third to be offered by a public university in the country.

In its inception the programme was supported by the University of Stirling (U.K), with significant input in designing the curriculum. It was also supported by the Higher Education Link programme of the British Council.

Presently, the MBA programme has an annual intake of approximately 50 students through a competitive admissions process (approximately 25% of applicants are admitted). Its graduates have been distributed globally across multiple sectors, and have proven their worth as competitors in the global market.

Despite its humble beginnings and relatively small size to date, the programme has been classified by independent reviewers as one of the top MBA programmes in the country.

Strength of the Teaching Panel and Teaching Methods

In an era of so called MBA programmes proliferating throughout the country, the qualifications, diversity and credibility of the teaching staff is a key determinant of the value of a programme.

In this respect the MBA progranmme at Peradeniya is unparalleled. Its faculty is blessed with a diverse and highly qualified teaching staff, both industry-leading professionals and academics, many of whom have obtained their academic and professional qualifications from leading institutions worldwide.

The programme employs a myriad of teaching methods ranging from lectures to case-based learning, while up-to-date teaching materials are sourced from leading publishers and institutions worldwide.

Team work is integral to most aspects of the programme and students are exposed to a rigorous and at times high-pressure environment which prepares them for high performance careers, post-graduation. The two and a half year curriculum involves 2 years of coursework followed by a dissertation.

The dissertation, a key quality assurance measure unique among MBA programmes offered in Sri Lanka, is intended to ground students and give them an opportunity to integrate their learnings in a specific real world application, or to pursue in-depth research in a subject area of interest.

Cost of the MBA Programme

Many are surprised to note the cost of the MBA programme at University of Peradeniya. The overall student costs include a total course fee of Rs.80,000, a library and services fee of about Rs.15,000 and a membership fee for the MBA Association of Rs.20,000, plus approximately Rs.50,000 for text books spread over 2-1/2 years.

This total cost positions the Peradeniya MBA as the lowest cost MBA programme in the country, offering by far the best value for money for its students. Course fees alone for MBA programmes based out of other universities in and around Colombo are well over Rs. 300,000.

For future business leaders seeking a well-grounded, rigorous management education, that will truly give them the skill base to compete in the global economy, the Peradeniya MBA offers an unparalleled option, backed by one of the oldest and most respected academic institutions in the country. An exceptionally high return on investment is virtually guaranteed.

Challenges

The MBA programme, of course, is not without its challenges. As it is based in Kandy, the prospect of a commute to Kandy for weekend classes proves to be a challenge for some students (many of whom work in Colombo) and a factor that discourages potential candidates from enrolling as well.

In order to overcome this challenge, the Programme is exploring the possibility of offering an accelerated full-time programme option, where students can unplug from their jobs, and immerse themselves completely in the programme for a shorter period of time.

Another key challenge has been the high-bar set by the programme in terms of quality. The dissertation in particular has been a difficult hurdle for many students to pass-and has hindered the ‘graduation’ of many students.

In response, the MBA programme is currently in the process of finalising a non-dissertation Master of Business and Management (MBM) degree option for students who wish to opt out of the dissertation.

Future Plans for the Peradeniya MBA

The Peradeniya MBA programme is still in its infancy, and has ambitious growth plans-which will no doubt solidify its position as a premiere and much-sought-after MBA programme in Sri Lanka and the region. The institute will be pursuing potential partnerships with leading global universities to further enhance the programme’s quality.

The student intake will grow in the future, and the possibility of sub-specialisations in marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, and real estate are being explored. The soon-to-be-launched career center will give the market an effective avenue to source excellent management talent while increasing the reach and visibility of the MBA students. The institution is also exploring opportunities to provide short-term intensive executive education programmes as well.

The Peradeniya MBA Programme is pursuing a path of continuous improvement to meet the ever changing demands of global business, and to prepare and position its graduates to lead the Sri Lanka forward.

In keeping with the hallowed traditions of the University, the MBA programme will strive to offer the highest quality educational products to the nation. It is confident that the market will continue to value its unique contribution.

 

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