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Open University launches BSE program:

Industry to expand IT workforce

The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and The Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies, (SLASSCOM) have entered co-operation agreement to design and conduct an innovative degree course in software engineering for students of the Open University.

Earnings from exports of the IT-BPO sector have shown a steady upward trend during the past decade, and in 2007 IT-BPO exports have reached an estimated $ 213 million which makes the IT-BPO industry the fifth largest industry in the country.


From Left to right: General Secretary, SLASSCOM, Madu Ratnayake, Project Director, DEMP, NS Abeyawardena, Vice Chancellor, OUSL, Prof. Upali Vidanapathirana, Chairman, SLASSCOM, Ranjith Fernando, Dean, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Dr. Janaka Liyanagama, Head Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. KAC Udayakumara.

The industry has set a target of $ 2bn in export revenue from the IT-BPO sector during the next five years. One of the key prerequisites for this growth to be realized is the acceleration of human resource capacity development in the country.

The OUSL, SLASSCOM effort is aimed at expanding the number of technology professionals in the country.

The new Bachelor of Software Engineering (BSE) program is designed to produce industry ready professionals in partnership with the industry.

ADB assisted Distance Education Modernization Project (DEMP) primarily funded the development of the program. The program covers the major subjects of computing according to the ACM/IEEE curriculum guidelines.

The degree has been specially designed in response to industry demand to produce graduate software engineers. BSE is an innovative industry-oriented degree program in software engineering where students can complete the degree in three years.

The Chairman SLASSCOM Ranjit Fernando said, "We are delighted to work closely with the Open University in ensuring that the new course is relevant, well delivered and much sought after by those who intend pursuing a career, in the fastest growing IT industry, globally.

We endorse this degree program and encourage aspiring new entrants to take up this exceptional opportunity to step in to a career in IT".

The BSE degree has been endorsed by the industry and the course has been designed with the active participation of leading software companies in Sri Lanka who are members of SLASSCOM. SLASSCOM member companies will also assist with the placement of students for industry exposure while they are studying as a part of the cooperation agreement. The Dean of the Engineering Faculty of The Open University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Janaka Liyanagama upbeat about the collaboration said, "SLASSCOM and OUSL have understood that providing hands-on work experience for the students is pivotal.

Students will not only have the opportunity to practise and apply knowledge and skills acquired throughout his/her studies in an industrial setting and also be exposed to professional practice throughout the placement". "SLASSCOM gave us their fullest cooperation throughout the development of this Bachelor of Software Engineering Program.

They provided the industry requirements at the curriculum development stage; They actively participated in course teams; They assisted us in developing individual courses; They have agreed to assist us in the delivery of some of the courses, where the best experts are available in the industry", said Dr. Janaka Liyanagama.

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