Senior Professor (Chair) H.D. Karunaratne
Vice Chancellor

Vice Chancellor's Message

The University of Colombo is the pioneer and forerunner of Higher Education & Research in Sri Lanka. Over the past two years, the University of Colombo (UOC) was ranked 1st among Sri Lankan Universities by Webometrics Rankings as well the SCIMAGO Rankings in 2022. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 placed the University of Colombo within the 801 – 1000th Universities among 1600 Universities in 99 countries; and by subject: Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health was placed within 501 – 600th & 601 – 800th place in Life Sciences respectively. Additionally, the University of Colombo was ranked among the 1001 – 1200th by the QS World University Rankings 2022 and 301 – 350th in QS Asia Regional Rank 2022.
The Higher Education sector in Sri Lanka has been facing an unprecedented set of challenges from the beginning of the Covid-19 health crisis. Online education became the lifeline for the higher education sector to maintain minimum continuity during this period. The situation forced everyone to change their practices irrespective of willingness, capabilities, location, and resources. The new experience in online interaction introduced a new culture in all segments of the higher education sector, including Administration.
Despite all the challenges emerged, to align the University activities with its goals, nineteen (19) International Conferences were organized and successfully conducted and a total of 630 new research papers were published by the Campus/ Faculties/ Institutes during the year 2022 in order to disseminate research findings of the University.
University of Colombo adopted and promoted Sustainable Development Goals in the year 2022. As stated in the 17th SDG Goal, University promoted Partnerships with domestic and international Universities, Institutions, and multilateral organizations. The University of Colombo started to implement JICA Chair programme in 2022. We have been able to elevate the status of the University by promoting research, improving research profile and involving community outreach and industry collaboration. For achieving this, everyone in the university including the Academics and the Students actively involved and contributed.

Professor Karunaratne earned his PhD in Economics from the Graduate School of International Development (GSID) of Nagoya University, Japan in 2000. He also holds MA in Economic Policy from Nagoya City University, Japan (1997), MA in Economics from the Department of Economics from the University of Colombo (1992), and a BA (with specialization in Economics) with First Class honours from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka (1990). His academic research focuses chiefly on Entrepreneurship, International Business, International Migration, Labour Markets, Income Inequality and International Trade. According to ResearchGate, Prof. H.D. Karunaratne has more than 126 research items and over 246 Google Scholar citations.
On the international front, he is a recipient of the Japanese Government Postgraduate Research (Monbusho) Scholarship for Seven Years (1993-2000). He was an Invited Professor in the Faculty of Economics of Hosei University, Tokyo in 2006-2008 and 2016/2017. The Japan Foundation in Tokyo awarded him a Senior Researcher Fellowship to conduct research at the University of Tokyo in 2016-2017. In recognition of overall academic and socio-cultural exposure to Japan, he was appointed as the Director of The University of Tokyo Sri Lanka Office by the University of Tokyo in October 2019. He was awarded the Foreign Minsters’ Commendation by the government of Japan in August 2021.
Senior Professor Hettige Don Karunaratne is the Chair Professor of Business Economics in the Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He completed 31 years of service in academia and his professional career by September 2021. Additionally, he serves as the Director, the Institute of Human Resource Advancement, University of Colombo (IHRA-UOC) Chairman of the Governing Council of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), the Vice President of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (2018 – to date), President of Japanese Graduates’ Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (2012-2014 and 2018 – to date). At the University of Colombo, Professor Karunaratne has held many academic positions during his 30-year stint there to date. They include Senior Professor (2017-to date), Professor (2009-2017), Associate Professor (2007-2009), all in the Department of Business Economics, Associate Professor (2003-2007) and Senior Lecturer (2000-2003) in the Department of Commerce of Faculty of Management and Finance and Lecturer (1990-2000) in the Department of Commerce and Management Studies of the Faculty of Arts. Professor Karunaratne has also held multiple administrative positions at the University of Colombo; as the Dean of the Faculty of Management and Finance (2011-2014), Acting Vice-Chancellor (April 2014), Acting Director of the Institute of Human Resource Advancement (January-May 2015), Acting Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (December 2013), Chairman of the Sports Board (2011-2014), Head of the Department of Commerce (2005-2006), Head of the Department of Business Economics (2010-2011, 2014-2016), Acting Director of Studies in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in 2009. Also, he carried out roles as the Chairman of Summit Finance PLC (2016).

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