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GISM supports country, education sector

In a country, entrepreneurs emerge with different backgrounds depending on the requirement for a particular service or product. The opportunities that emerged in Sri Lanka since the end of the war encouraged even researchers and professionals to become entrepreneurs. Founder of the Graduate Institute of Science and Management (GISM) at Nugegoda, Prof. Dr G G Senaratne is a researcher who had served abroad for many years and returned to Sri Lanka on the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the expatriates to serve the motherland. He was interviewed by Daily News Business for the Biz Bud column this week.

Q: What is your background to start this business?

A: I have pursued both academic and industrial careers in parallel. In my academic career, since 2001, I worked in Massey University, New Zealand where I received my PhD in Technology, a multi-disciplinary project on Microwave signal processing for foreign object identification. My publications and research interests are on breast cancer detection using microwaves and on engineering of wireless communications. In my industrial career, I worked in the New Zealand microwave industry as a senior research engineer and I am a recipient of the New Zealand Industry Fellowship in 2004.


Prof. G.G. Senaratne

After completing my studies in Moratuwa University, Sri Lanka, in 1976, I started working in the telecommunication industry and gained training and experience in the field of radio and transmission engineering for about twenty years. I also have gained professional qualifications from the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka and the Institute of Electrical Engineers UK in the fields of electronics and communications. I obtained my MSc degree on Mobile, Personal and Satellite Communication from Westminster University, UK in 1995 and then joined the telecommunication industry where I worked as the section head of Radio and Transmission Training Centre and Telecom repair centre, Sri Lanka. I am a Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, UK.

In 2002, I proposed to Massey University to start an articulation type programme in Sri Lanka but, even though they agreed to the proposal it was not materialized because of the war situation in the country at that time. I continued to submit this proposal several times and finally it came through in 2009 with the end of the war.

Basically I wanted to support the country to reduce the huge amount of foreign exchange going out on the education of our children while giving a quality and safe education to them. Today many children going abroad for higher studies to UK, US and some other countries get into trouble because they do not know the right path. It is very important to select the best and feasible programme and a recognized University so that the student can gain a recognized degree after studying a prospective and quality education programme. Some so called universities or educational Institutions offer degree programmes for low rates and there is no recognition. I want to open their eyes.

On the other hand through my long-standing experience, I had realised that some industries in Sri Lanka are very lethargic in the absence of professional development and research facilities. Therefore that is another area that I focused on for industry training and applied research.

Q: Is that the reason to establish the GISM Campus?

A: Yes. We started GISM in 2009 to give a quality education to our students with foreign exposure by doing the first part of the degree locally and the rest of the programme in New Zealand. The industry cannot develop and sustain without going for new technology. To get latest technology we need to work with national and international networking contacts in education and research. Industry is very competitive today and they cannot sustain with old technology. We need to have a research based approach. At GISM we need our students to work with well-known researchers abroad to get their technology and come back and apply it in Sri Lanka. This way we can save lot of foreign exchange, learn from them and utilize that knowledge and experience in Sri Lanka to develop our economy.

We are launching our research and professional development centres on October 27 this year and through this we will link industry and public sector organizations together with experts and scientists to conduct effective research work and we coordinate until the final outcome is achieved. Apart from this, through the Professional Development Centre, GISM envisages to support public and private sector professionals and other employees to upgrade their knowledge and working skill providing quality training and skill development programmes.

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