The signing of this MOU signifies a concrete step in fostering closer co-operation between University of Ruhuna and Hawaii Pacific University. I as the Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology wanted to establish this relationship with the aim of expanding our capacities in marine science and technology education in Sri Lanka. Hawaii Pacific University is well known for its Oceanic Institute dedicated to cutting edge research in oceanic and marine sciences.
The University of Ruhuna being a coastal university and having the only faculty in Fisheries and Marine Sciences in the Sri Lankan university system, is dedicated to promote marine science education in the country.
According to webo-metrics ranking this year, University of Ruhuna stands at the second place among the Sri Lankan universities and at the 23rd place among universities in the South Asian region.
It has produced more than thirty thousand graduates from its inception in the year 1978, in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, agriculture, humanities and management.
Our young faculty, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology commenced its degree programme in the year 2006 with the aim of producing graduates in fisheries and marine sciences.
In the globally connected world of the 21st century, international co-operation to face up to global competition is the key to success. And this co-operative spirit is central to the MOU that we have signed today. Hand in hand, I am sure we will be able to create synergy and sparkle off innovative ideas, sowing the seeds that one day will bring forth long-term benefits to both places.
This milestone marks the joint efforts of both parties signing this agreement in strengthening co-operation in joint research and development, curriculum development, exchanging educational and research materials, exchanging academics and students from respective institutions to enhance their educational careers and importantly, to develop a joint Master's Programme in Marine Sciences in Sri Lanka.
Importantly, this occasion takes place at a time when marine science education plays a vital role as never before as Sri Lanka has a vision to become a naval hub in the South Asian region, in the near future and at a time oil exploration in the Mannar Basin is to commence.
I hope that the signing of the MOU will mark the dawn of a new era in research collaboration between the University of Ruhuna and Hawaii Pacific University.
I am confident that with our concerted efforts, the MOU we have signed will deliver the benefits it promises. My colleagues and I look forward to working closely with our Hawaii counterparts in the years to come.