The Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT) Sri Lanka held its annual Convocation at the Main Hall of the BMICH on 10 February 2021. Chairman, University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka, Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunge graced the occasion as Chief Guest while Managing Director, Nestlé Lanka PLC, Mr. Fabrice Cavallin joined as Guest of Honour.
The Convocation saw 338 graduands of APIIT obtain globally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Business, Computing and Law awarded by Staffordshire University, UK. There were 38 First Class Honours passes, 117 Second Class (First Division) passes and 10 Postgraduate distinctions.
Chairman of APIIT Sri Lanka, Mr. Bandula Egodage addressing the gathering said, “The annual Convocation is the most remarkable event in our academic calendar. APIIT’s purpose is to nurture leaders who uplift lives; you are the leaders of the future. You will have the unique opportunity and profound responsibility to contribute to the economic and social advancement of our country – your hopes, your dreams, your energy and your efforts will shape and create the future for all of us”.
The colourful ceremony was a joyous occasion where students who entered APIIT as young undergraduates finally reaped the fruits of their hard work and formally bid goodbye to student life. Reflecting the high standards of education at APIIT leading to a rich learning experience and overall personality development, the graduands walked on to the stage to receive their awards exuding confidence and were poised to take on the challenges of their career and life ahead.
Chief Guest, Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunge, Chairman, University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka in his Convocation address said, “Today APIIT is awarding 338 students a degree that will take them far in their lives. I would first like to convey my best wishes to those who are graduating from this esteemed institution. This is indeed a great milestone in your lives. You have faced many challenges and have come on top gracefully. I request you to take a moment to appreciate the significance of this achievement and appreciate the circumstances in which you are receiving this award”.
“The country and the world are facing a pandemic; the most severe in recent history. During a time when the freedom to breathe has been restricted, you have completed a great academic feat. You have successfully laid the foundation stone to your journey ahead. This is indeed a moment of celebration. Therefore, take a minute to appreciate yourself, your family, friends, loved-ones, your Alma Mater and most importantly your motherland on this achievement. You have received a qualification that will take you far and will be the cornerstone of your success story and I for one am very proud of you”, he added.
Professor Liz Barnes, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University, UK who shared her message via video said, “Every one of you graduating today has achieved something significant and special. Being awarded a degree is a life changing achievement and a culmination of considerable effort, hard work, commitment and determination. It comes at the end of a period of sustained learning through acquiring new knowledge, researching ideas, critically appreciating them, challenging accepted views, sharing understanding and debating views with others. All these skills will help you with your future and enable you to make a difference for yourself, those around you and the organisations you create, work for or support”.
“The last year of your degree has coincided with a global pandemic that has disrupted our normal ways of studying, working and living. This has required you to adapt to new and different ways of learning and working. In overcoming these additional barriers, you have demonstrated your ability to adapt and change – skills that will be essential for your future career success”, she added.
In his speech, Guest of Honour, Mr. Fabrice Cavallin, Managing Director, Nestlé Lanka PLC said, “Today, the world is in a state of constant fast-paced change, with thousands of trends and an overflow of information. I’d like to pass on some of my own learnings over the years that will help you to succeed in this new reality. Be a critical thinker, keeping an open mind, and separating facts from opinions. You have learnt it at your university, please continue to cultivate it. Lifelong learning is essential, otherwise you will become outdated very quickly. It will always help you discover new opportunities. Thirdly, the fear of failing is what keeps us from stepping out of our comfort zone and doing things differently. Failing is not bad, you have to take it positively and learn from it. It will make you stronger on your road to success”.
He went on to say, “Finally, find your purpose. This last learning has been crucial for me, and I would have been happy to discover it earlier in my life. Purpose is why we exist, it’s what motivates us and what makes us wake up in the morning. It gives meaning to what we do. Once you find your purpose, approach everything with that in mind – it will fulfill you and make you happy. You are the generation that can drive positive change. Live your purpose with passion. I wish you a great start to this new exciting stage of your life”.
A highlight of the graduation ceremony was the awarding of Gold Medals to students who performed best in their respective streams. The gold medallists were Hanau Fathimath (Software Engineering), Chanaka Shehan Marasinghe, (Computer Networks and Security), Yeheni Ama Weerakkody (International Business Management), Aathika Naahid Mohamed Mackie (Law), Rukshi De Silva (MBA), Deshan Kuruvita-Aratchy (MSc -Technology Management) and Arith Seneviratne (LLM).
APIIT Sri Lanka is a leading higher education institution with a reputation for quality and standards and has a longstanding partnership with Staffordshire University, UK. To date, the Staffordshire University-APIIT Sri Lanka collaboration has produced nearly 4000 alumni who hold key positions in various industries spanning the world.