Annual Research Symposium – 2021

Annual Research Symposium – 2021

The Annual Research Symposium (ARS) of the University of Colombo, which unifies all symposia held by the respective Faculties, Institutes, Campus, the School and the library of the University, is one of the main events in the University calendar. This year, it was held on the 23rd of November 2021 and signified the conclusion of the centenary celebrations of the University of Colombo, which was established in 1921 as the Ceylon University College. The theme of this year’s research symposium “Impactful research through an interdisciplinary approach” aptly suited the current international trends in the conduct of research. The chief guest of the ARS 2021 was the Acting High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Vinod K Jacob, strengthening the links and engagement of the University of Colombo with High Commission of India. The Keynote Speaker was Professor Mohan Munasinghe, the 2021 Blue Planet laureate, Chairman, Presidential Expert Commission on Sustainable Sri Lanka 2030 Vision, and former Vice-Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. We were also honoured by the presence of Professor GL Pieris, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, and the current Foreign Minister, who participatd as a special guest.

The ARS 2021 was chaired by Professor Chandrika N. Wijeyaratne, Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo. The organising committee was chaired by Professor Priyadarshani Galappatthy and the committee consisted of members representing all the faculties, institutes campus, school, and the library. The symposium was held as a hybrid event with a limited number gathering onsite at the New Arts Theatre of the University and most of the audience joining online, in keeping with the current health and safety guidelines. Each faculty, institute, campus, school and the library of the University also had their own research symposia of 2021 at around the same time. Each of these had an elaborate programme showcasing their research landscape covering the current topics of interest. The details of each of the symposia are available on their respective websites as well as through the University of Colombo ARS 2021 website. (

One of the unique features of this year’s symposium was honouring the distinguished alumni and academics of the University, to mark the centenary celebrations of the University of Colombo. Total of 43 distinguished alumni and academics nominated by each of the faculties, Institutes and the library of the University were introduced to the audience in a video highlighting their contribution at university, national and international level. Some of the distinguished alumni felicitated participated in person while others joined virtually. Commemorative centenary plaques and certificates of appreciation were handed over to them by the Vice Chancellor. The inauguration subcommittee chaired by Dr. Nirmali Wijegunewardena attended to the details of this important activity.

An extensive publicity campaign, was carried out through the IT and publicity subcommittee of the ARS 2021, chaired by Professor Samantha Herath. The abstracts of all research papers were published in the proceedings of ARS 2021, edited by Professor Enoka Corea and subeditor Mr Sajith Peiris. One of the highlights of the proceedings this year was publishing the recommendations from research projects in the proceedings of ARS given in a separate chapter which will be forwarded to policymakers in parliament to consider for implementation and in development activities of the country. Professor Enoka Corea presented the key recommendations mapped according to the 17 sustainable development goals during her presentation. She has also included an editorial highlighting background to the establishment of the University in 1921 to mark this centenary celebration.

The organising committee held a logo competition among the staff and students and the meaningful logo, as well as the creative flyer, banner, and cover page of proceedings were all designed by Miss D.M.P.K. Thanayamwatta, a student of the Faculty of Arts.



His Excellency Vinod K Jacob
Acting High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka


Honorable Professor G L Peiris
Foreign Minister, Former Vice Chancellor
University of Colombo


Professor Mohan Munasinghe
2021 Blue Planet Prize Laureate, Chairman, Presidential Expert Commission on Sustainable Sri Lanka 2030 Vision, Former Vice Chair, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


Professor Chandrika N Wijeyaratne


Professor Priyadarshani Galappatthy


Professor Enoka Corea


Professor Samantha Herath


Dr. Nirmali Wijegoonawardana


Mr. Sajith Peiris


Sri Palee Campus Contemporary Media and Performing Arts: Approaches and Practices 22nd November 2021
Faculty of Arts 7th International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences 2021 | “100 Years of Humanities and Social Sciences in Higher Education in Sri Lanka: Innovation and Adaptation in a Time of Crisis” 1st, 2nd & 3rd December 2021
Department of Sociology Annual Research Symposium 2021 on Social Sciences and Humanities in the Digital Age and in Pandemic Times | “Social Sciences and Humanities in the Digital Age and in Pandemic Times” 26th March 2021
Department of Sinhala 10th Annual Sinhala Studies Symposium 2021 | “Academia’s Contribution to Sinhala Studies” 16th September 2021
Department of Demography 8th Annual Research Conference (DemARS 2021 ) | “Population and Sustainable Development” 28th October 2021
Department of International Relations INCOIRe 2021 International Conference | “In the shadow of International Relations 2021” 19th – 20th November 2021
Department of Geography International Conference on “Geography and Global Sustainability” (ICGGS 2021) 9th – 10th December 2021
Confucius Institute 2nd International Research Symposium on “Understanding Chinese Language & Culture” 16th December 2021
Faculty of Education Interdisciplinary Research in Education 26th November 2021
Faculty of Graduate Studies Global Cooperation: Reimaging Multiculturalism 20th August 2021
Faculty of Law Impactful legal research through an interdisciplinary approach 27th November 2021
Faculty of Management & Finance Invitation for 16th International Research Conference of Management & Finance (IRCMF 2021) | “Strategic Resilience, Reinvention and Digital Disruption in Business Management” 22nd October 2021
Faculty of Medicine Colombo Medical Congress 202 | NCD and COVID 19: Tackling Two Pandemics Through Collaborative Research 25th – 27th November 2021
Faculty of Nursing New Dimension in Nursing; Creating a Sustainable Healthcare and Safety Net for All 15th December 2021
Faculty of Science International Conference on Multidisciplinary Approaches in Science 2021 ICMAS 2021 24th – 26th November 2021
Faculty of Technology The Role of Technology in Interdisciplinary Research 17th November 2021
University of Colombo School of Computing 21st International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer) 1st – 4th December 2021
Institute for Agro technology and Rural Sciences National Symposium on Agro Technology and Rural Sciences (NSATRS 2021) 28th June 2021
Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biotechnology International Conference on Frontiers in Molecular Life Sciences (ICFMLS) 6th – 7th April 2022
Institute of Indigenous Medicine Interdisciplinary Approach on Research in Indigenous Medicine 24th November 2021
National Institute of Library and Information Sciences NRS2021 – Cultural Heritage: Bridging the Past, Present, and Future Through Libraries, Museums, and Archives 20th December 2021
Postgraduate Institute of Medicine Postgraduate Medical Education in the Era of COVID-19 26th November 2021
The Library Library as a Roadmap to Interdisciplinary Research 9th December 2021

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