A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in 2013, between the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) of the People’s Republic of China and the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) to undertake a mutually beneficial collaborative academic linkage for the purpose of cultivating high level talents in the field of Public Administration. As a key national Co-educational Research University, HUST is directly affiliated to the Ministry of Education of China.
In pursuance of the MoU, B. Wijerathne, the Director General/SLIDA and M. Thilakasiri, Additional Director General (Postgraduate Studies) visited HUST in 2014, which was reciprocated by a visit to SLIDA, by a team of academics from the HUST.
Subsequent to these visits, the Academic Team of HUST was impressed by the contribution made by Thilakasiri, Additional Director General (PGS) for over 30 years in the various fields of public management, academic teaching in postgraduate degree programs, productivity and quality improvement consultancy services, publications and more importantly Thilakasiri’s initiation and pursuance to receive recognition from the University Grants Commission for SLIDA to be awarded Postgraduate Degree Awarding Status. Additionally, the HUST Team was also very much impressed of the institutional arrangements developed by Thilakasiri in establishing within the SLIDA the School of Postgraduate Studies (SPS) for the conduct of the Master of Public Management (MPM), and also the pioneering efforts in the design and development of the MPM Course modules and the course processes.
Recognizing Thilakasiri’s scholarly work, the HUST requested Thilakasiri to submit to the University a comprehensive CV of his career record, including work life achievements to-date, for evaluating his contribution to Sri Lanka and the country’s public management sector in particular, for consideration of awarding a professorship.
Accordingly, Thilakasiri having forwarded his detail CV to the HUST, the University’s Academic Council, evaluated his performance and decided to award a professorship to. M. Thilakasiri.
The second country study visit program by MPM study fellows to the HUST, China led by Thilakasiri commenced from March 21, 2015 to April 5, 2015. During the study visit the University organized a grand ceremony to appoint M. Thilakasiri as a professor. Sri Lankan Postgraduate students and Public Officers studying in Wuhan City were present at this ceremony.
The uniqueness of this ceremony was that Dr. Gang Lu, Chancellor, the HUST graced the awarding ceremony and personally awarded the professorship appointment to Thilakasiri.