Sunday, September 30, 2007

SLIIT Helps for Building your future

Set forth with the mission of ensuring availability of a rich pool of professionals in the IT industry, The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology has turned out to be the pioneers in visualizing the industry needs and in making the largest contribution of experts required by the IT industry. In an era when Information Technology has become an increasingly sought after field of education, SLIIT plays an integral role in educating and training individuals, promoting research development, providing consultancy and software services and nurturing IT ventures. SLIIT stands as the largest IT Degree awarding Institute in Sri Lanka. Managing Director/CEO Prof. Lalith Gamage said, “Our Institute offers students a range of pathways in Tertiary IT Education. SLIIT serves the national interest in producing skilled professionals sufficient to meet 40 per cent of the annual IT workforce demand in the country.”, continued Prof. Gamage. This is made possible by courses designed to meet industry requirements.
As an institution approved by the Sri Lanka University Grants Commission, SLIIT looks for 3 G.C.E. Advanced Level (Sri Lanka/London) subject passes in any stream achieved at one sitting as the basic course entry requirement. In addition, students are made to take an Aptitude Test conducted by SLIIT in order to enroll for a course of study. Students awaiting A/L results are also encouraged to apply, given that required A/L standards are obtained prior to commencement of semester.
Prior to starting the degree program, all entering students are provided with Foundation Courses designed to improve communication, mathematical and computer skills. The course in communication skills improves English proficiency in areas such as reading, writing and listening. An online English program and an English Help Desk are also available. SLIIT is the only IT Institute that offers such extensive language support.
SLIIT offers programs of studies leading to B.Sc. Special Honours degrees, B.Sc degrees, M.Sc degrees and postgraduate diplomas in Information Technology, Computer Systems & Networking, Information Systems and related fields. Apart from these, a number of industry certified programs are conducted in partnership with Microsoft, IBM and CISCO Systems. Business Management has been the latest addition to the educational pathway available at SLIIT.
Whichever path is chosen, students are made to profit from the flexible Bachelor’s degree programs, which allow them to continue studies towards the degree while earning additional educational and professional qualifications. Students are free to exit the program with an Associate Diploma, a Diploma, an Advanced Diploma, a B. Sc. Degree or proceed to the B.Sc. Special Honours Degree. Candidates who exit the program at various levels are free to rejoin and make their way towards final graduation. Students also have the option of either completing their Degrees in SLIIT or transferring to one of the overseas partner Universities in Australia or UK, after one or two years of education at SLIIT. The Institute intervenes and coordinates affairs, to support the students’ success in obtaining the necessary visas.
A wide range of career opportunities are open to SLIIT Degree holders, since the Institute has direct links with the local and foreign IT industry. SLIIT qualified individuals are highly recognized within the corporate world and are willingly absorbed into organisations in need of skilled IT professionals. Many entrepreneurs in the IT field have also gained expertise through SLIIT. Speaking of recent SLIIT achievements, Prof. Gamage was proud to highlight that the Institute came 1st runner-ups in this year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup competition. The victory was obtained competing against 5 other short listed entries from leading IT educational institutes in Sri Lanka.
This success contributes to the excellence seen in every aspect associated with education at SLIIT. The world class curriculum is one such factor. Validated by the University Grants Commission, it also conforms to IEEE and ACM curriculum standards. SLIIT has a highly qualified and dedicated in-house staff including a large number of PhD qualified lecturers to ensure academic excellence in students. Nevertheless, Prof. Gamage says “ We are putting a lot of effort into continuous quality improvement of curriculum, staff and educational infrastructure.”
SLIIT students also have the rare opportunity of maneuvering acquired skills through Research and Development Facilities powered by the Sri Lanka Incubator located in the Malabe Campus. Also known as ‘Concept’, the incubator creates access to business and technical expertise, financial resources, international industry contacts, business advice and business plan development to promote and improve IT enterprises, innovators and IT start-up companies.
The Institute funds student research and provides performance based financial assistance. Full tuition scholarships are awarded to best performers, under the sponsorship of leading IT companies. Students are also offered extensive internship with stipend and employment in foreign Universities after successful completion of studies at home.
In addition to IT training, SLIIT has a Software Engineering Service Division that undertakes Computer Hardware, Computer Networking and Software Development projects and works as Consultants/ Project Managers in overall computerization tasks.
Apart from classroom support, candidates are facilitated to discuss academic and personal queries through online forums integrated into the system. Each undergraduate student is provided with an e-mail account that will help them get in touch with colleagues.
SLIIT Campuses are built to suit state-of-the art IT infrastructure standards. Every inch of space is Wi-Fi enabled and over 1000 computers with 20 servers in 16 laboratories are maintained to facilitate technological requirements of the 3500 student base. The Institute provides laboratorial assistance in multi-media, data-communication, software development, UNIX and bio-technology. Project laboratories and postgraduate laboratories are also available. SLIIT libraries own a wide collection of books and periodicals that encompasses the entire sphere of studies. All students are free to access the Internet through computer laboratories. Private male and female accommodation facilities are offered at close proximity to the SLIIT Malabe Campus. Sports, clubs and societies are also made part of student life, to ensure a pleasing, friendly and interactive learning environment.
To ensure island wide participation in gathering manpower as required by the IT industry, SLIIT has set up Centres in Kandy and Matara, in addition to the Malabe and Metropolitan Campuses. “SLIIT is working with the Board of Investment to develop an IT park opposite the Malabe Campus.”, said Prof. Gamage. Also known as techno parks, a similar space is already developed in close proximity to the Malabe Campus, with the participation of Business Process Outsourcing companies and giant IT firms. The planned IT park is among the many development plans SLIIT holds for the future.
By Thamara Nissanka
SLIIT Website

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