Informatics Institute of Technology- IIT, the pioneer in private higher education offering international degrees, announced a partnership agreement with Deakin University, one of Australia’s most respected and awarded   centres of higher education. This is seen as a first step in much broader strategic partnership that will involve collaboration in research and industry placement exchange programmes.

Initially the tie up offers local students a pathway to the Deakin Bachelors in Information Technology degree and prepares them for a global future. IIT students who have completed Diploma of Computing, at IIT’s campus in Colombo can apply to complete the next 2 years at a Deakin campus in Australia.  It is estimated a third of the costs amounting to 5-6 million Rupees can be saved by students choosing this option.

Chairman of IIT, Gamini Wickremesinghe said the collaboration was a major milestone for students of Informatics Institute of Technology. “We are delighted to offer our students increased knowledge and exposure through a world recognised University, plus better job prospects, these being the main two reasons why such collaborations becomes vital. Our aim is to develop global IT professionals who are exposed to international practices and are job ready from day one” he re-iterated.

IIT has  dominated the private sector led information technology and business degree  space in Sri Lanka,  having produced several generations of ‘technopruers’, many of whom are now leaders in the IT industry. Boasting 100% employability and some of the highest salary grades for her students, IIT has produced over 3000 students now working in over 25 countries worldwide, proving the international reputation of their undergraduate and post graduate degrees. The Deakin agreement heralds a new era in the 25 year old institute.

CEO of IIT Dr Sampath Kannangara said he was ‘delighted’ at the partnership. “This is not just about delivering a transfer programme locally – It’s the beginning of a long term strategic intent to collaborate. We will start with this course which is designed in such a way that it opens up a variety of IT majors such as mobile application development, computer graphics & game development, IT security, interactive media and programming that can be mastered by students. At the same time the program provides the theoretical understanding and experience necessary to keep abreast of this rapidly changing field.

The Deakin Delegation in town included Prof. Baskaran, Associate Dean – International, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, Deakin, International Manager Carl Jones and David Samuel, Deakin’s newly appointed Country Manager. Deakin said it was delighted to appoint long time industry expert David Samuel as Country Manager.  The appointment and the establishment of an office reflects the University’s deep engagement with Sri Lanka.

Prof. Baskaran, Associate Dean International for Deakin’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, speaking on the occasion said “We are pleased that Informatics Institute of Technology has chosen us as their first Australian university to collaborate with by offering an integrated degree. IIT, with its strong pioneering roots in IT education in Sri Lanka will be able to provide an excellent learning environment as well as a range of industry placements and internship programmes. We envisage collaborative research, and innovation being important outcomes as this partnership grows.”

International Manager Jones Carl noted the popularity of joint degree programmes of this nature. “Mobility and intercultural exchange increases international employability of our graduates and these partnerships are so important to the internationalisation of our own campuses”.

Deakin University based in Melbourne is a multi-award winning university with an international focus. With a reputation for being young and innovative, Deakin University offers excellent facilities and flexible learning. Deakin is forging a new path both locally and globally as a leading provider of innovative learning and a positive university experience. Deakin is proud to be in the top 3 per cent of universities across all three of the major international university ranking systems – the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings, assessed from 17 000 universities worldwide. Deakin was also ranked within the top 101-150 in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities (AWRU).

For five consecutive years, Deakin has achieved the highest level of overall student satisfaction among the Australian state of Victorian universities. The University was also ranked International Educator of the Year 2014 by the Government of the Australia, State of Victoria.

Students of IIT are provided with guidance and support from staff to take part in international research forums, conferences and competitions relating to IT such as Glo-Bus, Microsoft Imagine Cup, Conference of Soft Computing and Pattern Recognition (SoCPaR), Google Summer of Code, National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) competition. IIT is best known as an innovation hotbed. The Campus bagged 5 awards out of a total of 9 at the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014 National Finals emerging winners in 2 categories. In 2015, IIT went on to win 7 awards, emerging victorious in all 3 categories of Games, Innovation & World Citizenship. IIT was upbeat in acclaiming that “No other institution in the island has won this many accolades consecutively”.