Upul Daranagama talks about the challenges faced by private higher education in Sri Lanka, a country with a strong public education tradition.
Upul Daranagama is the managing director and chief executive officer of Horizon College International and of Horizon College of Business and Technology (Pvt) Ltd (Horizon Campus). Having had his early experience in establishing Oxford College of Business in the city of Colombo, he ventured out to set up Horizon Campus on a much larger scope and scale. His almost inborn entrepreneurial skills and penchant for education have much of its roots in his strong academic background and experience. He completed his tertiary education obtaining a BSc (Acc.FM) from the University of Jayawardenapura, one of the largest state universities in Sri Lanka. He holds the Fellowship in Association of Business Executive of the UK, diploma in human resource management and is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka. For his post-graduate studies, he went to the UK where he obtained an MBA from the University of Leicester. Upon his return to Sri Lanka, he focused on education and sought to establish Oxford College of Business (OCB) in the heart of the city of Colombo in 2002. On the success of Oxford College, he took a larger stride to establish Horizon College International which is an international school following the Edexcel curriculum and the Horizon College of Business & Technology (Pvt) Ltd. Horizon Campus offers diplomas, degrees and postgraduate degrees which are offered in affiliation with partner universities in India, UK, and Australia. Horizon Campus is situated in the green and lush, picturesque environment of Malabe on the outskirts of Colombo to provide students an atmosphere that is conducive for studies. Horizon Campus is a leading private university in Sri Lanka geared to provide an inspiring learning experience to students in a holistic university atmosphere. Annually, more than 500 students enroll to study for Sri Lankan and UK degrees. The triple-accredited status of Horizon Campus – its recognition as a degree-awarding institute by the Ministry of Higher Education in Sri Lanka, as a private higher education service provider by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Sri Lanka, and as a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and member of Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQNg) guarantees learners a nationally and internationally recognized qualification. Daranagama also holds the position of the chief executive officer/managing director of the following establishments: Oxford College of Business, Horizon College International, Horizon College of Business & Technology (Pvt) Ltd, Centre for Professional Studies (CFPS Law School) and Kids in Action Preschool & Daycare Center (Pvt) Ltd.