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DateLine Friday, 16 January 2009

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MoU signed to set up first private sector Green Campus

The Asian Institute of Technology Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The South Asian Institute of Technology and Management, Malabe, (SAITM) to set up the first private sector Green Campus in Sri Lanka.


President, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand Prof. Said Irandoust and Chairman, SAITM Dr. Neville Fernando at the MoU signing ceremony.

“Even with the economic downturn in the world, we are confident that Sri Lanka will turn out to be a hub of education in the region. That is why we decided to sign a MoU with SAITM,” said the president, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, Professor Said Irandoust.

He told the Daily News Business at the MoU signing ceremony that the purpose-built campus buildings on a four-acre land will be ready for academic programs by March 2009.

Construction work on the campus is currently in progress to complete the main seven-storeyed building with the infrastructure.

“Plans are afoot to introduce both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in Information Technology, Business Management, Engineering and Architecture, Foreign Languages (German, French, Japanese, Chinese and Korean), Media and Communication Studies, Psychology, Medicine, Health and Bio Medical Sciences and Law and International Relations,” he said. A team of highly qualified and experienced academics from Heads of Departments from state universities of Sri Lanka will comprise the academic and administrative staff of the proposed SAITM. SAITM has already sought independent degree awarding status from the Ministry of Education.

Chairman, SAITM, Dr. Neville Fernando said that their fees would be the lowest in the private education system since they have not taken bank loans or mortgages. “We are planning to offer scholarships to the children of the Armed Forces, and the police and students belonging to the minority communities,” he said. He is now investing Rs. 500 million in the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management (SAITM). It is not his intention to look for ROI, as the capital appreciation of the property and buildings and the institution will be more than Rs. 5 billion in less than 10 years.

Dr. Fernando, initiated JF & I Printers, Royal Fernwood Porcelain and after selling his shares purchased 89 per cent shares of Asha Central Hospital. After capital reduction and writing off the losses Dr. Fernando turned the hospital into a profitable venture, which commenced paying 20 per cent dividends up to 2005/2006 and 40 per cent in 2006/2007. He sold his shares, which were purchased at Rs. 6.00 each for Rs. 98.50.

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