I am Danushika Nayomi a graduate in B.Sc. (Honors) in Biotechnology conducted by Horizon Campus in collaboration with Nilai University, Malaysia. I was fortunate to secure a first class with my commitment, proper guidance of Faculty of Science and motivation from my parents. Graduation Ceremony 2018 of Nilai University was held in 18th August 2018. I was invited together with two of my colleagues, Tarinija Gopalakrisnan and Prisca Issac who also got First Classes to attend this grand ceremony. My other colleagues also have performed well. Mr. Ajitha Wanasinghe, CEO of Horizon Campus motivated us by joining our team. Dr. Ng Shee Ping (PhD, Head/Senior Lecturer – School of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology) was one of the well-wishers among Nilai team who congratulated us.
At first before coming to Horizon Campus, I needed a program that cover the disciplines of science but also allow me to tailor my education to fit my professional goals. Then I found the Horizon Campus. And I recently attended the graduation ceremony held at Nilai University in Malaysia.
During the program, I have been able to further my studies within the sciences as well as acquainted with business concepts within the biotechnology industry. Our program included the basics of biology, chemistry and advanced modules like Cell and tissue culture, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Food science & Technology etc. Special feature is that it is also designed to produce graduates who have solid understanding in modules such as Entrepreneurship, Bioinformatics, Innovation & Commercialization which are required to exploit technological advances within a competitive environment. We are encouraged to exercise independence, initiative and responsibility and appreciate the need for continual professional development because of the intensity of this specialist program.
I cannot underestimate the value of this choice as it gave me confidence in my scientific ability and equipped me with skills that helped me to hit the ground running when I began my final year research project. The final year consisted of an independent in-depth research project that involved supervised research work in our modern labs. We had the opportunity to carry out techniques that are widely used in current biological science research. I carried out my research project on natural products which is related to pharmaceutical field under the mentoring and guidance of the high academically qualified supervisors. I was also able to publish my research at 4th international conference on multidisciplinary approaches organized by University of Sri Jayawardanapura. Offering high-quality and blend of modules throughout, the degree allows us to choose a research field that reflects our individual scientific strengths and interests.
The industrial placement module in the final year gave me the opportunity to put what I have learnt into practice, giving me a better understanding of my strengths and the chance to solidify my knowledge in an industry setting. I joined SGS Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. as an intern chemical analyst where I was given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in food, water, fertilizer and cosmetic laboratories. I enjoyed my time there a lot acquiring transferable key skills, including technical laboratory competencies, skills in teamwork and decision-making.
There are great resources and amenities available to students. There are numerous clubs and societies to get involved in. I thoroughly enjoy my time spent at Horizon Campus. I think the diverse education that I received from this flexible and engaging program has prepared me for a career in academics as well as in industrial wise. Whether it is going into industry, pursuing further learning or branching out and going into the business world, there is always demand for Biotechnologists. So I believe that the Nilai Biotechnology program at Horizon Campus allows students to tailor their degree to their own interests giving those opportunities to select any of the option study blocks they wish. Thus the programme seeks to develop within graduates good practical, analytical and transferable skills applicable to a wide range of employment opportunities.
After successfully graduation with a first class honors, I was offered the position of Demonstrator in my own campus. Working together and sharing ideas in an open and fun environment whilst meeting some of the most amazing people, in faculty, many of whom have become close friends now. By covering the vast areas of the up and coming biotechnology industry, students can see which areas interest them most, and which don’t, and make informed decisions on where they would like their career path to go.
Sri Lanka Amateur Baseball/Softball Association (SLABSA) joined hands with Horizon Campus, along with Healthcare partner; Ninewells Hospital to improve the game of baseball in Sri Lanka.
Although it is not as widely acclaimed as cricket, rugby or other sports in the Island, Baseball is rapidly gaining popularity. Currently Sri Lanka is ranked 40th in the world out of the registered 120 nations, and are ranked 7th in Asia out of 26 countries.
The National Men’s team has improved its prowess by winning the West Asia Cup in 2017, and bagging a Bronze Medal at the Asia Baseball Cup held in Indonesia in 2015. The Sri Lanka Baseball team took part in the 2018 Asia Games and performed reasonably well registering its first win in the tournament.
In addition, the U18 National team is ranked 5th in Asia. This goes to show that Sri Lankan players have the ability and the potential to shine on the field.
Baseball was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1985 by the American Embassy to two schools and two clubs, with the very first game played in the same year. It has been an amateur sport in Sri Lanka since its inception. Colombo, Kandy and Galle, the three main districts have embraced the game, and have formed what is popularly known as the Baseball Triangle.
In addition, Baseball has caught on in Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. Currently it is being played at the University level and has gained enough stature to be included in the University Games.
SLABSA is striving to achieve an ambitious goal of broadening its reach island wide, to cover all 9 provinces, 25 districts and 98 educational zones by the year 2025.
Reputed educational institution ‘Horizon Campus’ has partnered with SLABSA to take the game to the grassroots level, where they believe the hidden talent lies. Sri Lanka’s baseball players come from all corners of the island since the game is similar to Elle and Cricket, which is by far the most popular sport in the country.
Speaking about the ambition for the future, Fazil Hussain the President of SLABSA said;
“We believe that Sri Lanka has the potential to be a super power in the future,” he went onto say that SLABSA is privileged to have the former Army Commander, General Daya Rathnayake to Head the Development Committee.
“We are certain with his knowledge and energy, baseball will be a sport to be reckoned with,” he added.
Looking to the future, Hussain said, “We are confident that baseball will be one of the top 5 sports in the island, and baseball players will be able to get scholarships to play in the American Professional League in the near future.”
The SLABSA will be conducting their first development program in Jaffna, and then will move to Kilinochchi during the 1st week of October. To date Sri Lanka has 30 clubs playing in the National League, and 28 Schools taking part in the schools’ tournament.
SLABSA is privileged to have two Japanese volunteer coaches based in Sri Lanka along with baseball grounds at Diyagama where tournaments will be conducted. Currently the SLABSA is working with the Sports Ministry to develop the Diyagama Stadium into state of the art venue.
Commenting on the involvement of Horizon Campus with Baseball, Nilantha Rathnayake – Group Marketing Director said;
“We are proud to be part of this project to develop baseball in Sri Lanka. We are already making our mark in the region and I believe that this sport will benefit the youth across Sri Lanka.”
hSenid Mobile Solutions concluded TADHack Sri Lanka 2018, the biggest Telco Application Development Hackathon in the world.
The event was held at the #DialogAxiata Auditorium in Colombo on 13th-14th October 2018.
TADHack Sri Lanka 2018 was a great success with young developers showcasing their innovative and brilliant ideas using with the latest technologies using hSenid Mobile APIs.
A group of students completing BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology conducted by Faculty of Science, Horizon Campus in collaboration with Nilai University, Malaysia, conducted a research on “The Diversity of Plants” at the Kanneliya Forest Reserve. It is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country. The research was conducted by Ashan Karunananda, Ravindu Annjana and Chathura Priyadarshana under the supervision of Senior Lecturer Mr.Medhisha Gunawardena and the support of Mr.Eranda Mandawala (Senior Lecturer) and Dr. Lekha Wanasekara (Dean – Faculty of Science). An abstract was selected to be published at the Research Symposium on Wet Zone Forests organized by the Forest Department.
It was successfully presented by Ashan Karunananda (President – Nature Beyond Horizon) on the 20th of October 2018 at BMICH. Well known researchers from overseas and Sri Lanka including Emeritus Professors graced this very productive symposium. It was a proud moment for the Campus, as the Horizon research team got highly commended for their hardwork.