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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.