Microsoft Sri Lanka recently announced another initiative to expand its alliance with academia by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Statistics and Computer Science, University of Kelaniya. This will make the University a member of the MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) programme, a Microsoft offering especially tailor made for the academic community.
The MSDN Academic Alliance is the easiest and most cost effective way to keep students, labs and faculty on the cutting edge of technology. This annual membership to the MSDNAA will enable the Department of Statistics & Computer Science, University of Kelaniya to have access and load the complete suite of Microsoft developer tools, operating systems, server products, platforms and other software with regular updates on an unlimited number of departmental lab computers for instructional and research purposes.
Addressing the gathering at the signing ceremony, Prof. K. Tillekeratne, Vice Chancellor University of Kelaniya said, `Excelling in the dynamic stream of Computer Science Education has been our stronghold. Our alliance with Microsoft is one more step in that direction. The MSDN Academic Alliance will provide our students and faculty easy access to instructional and educational tools and resources that meet the evolving needs of the industry. It will also provide an exposure to industry environments, latest developments in software technology and an opportunity to come in contact with industry professionals worldwide.`
`Since the inception of the program, computer science and engineering departments of several leading universities and institutions worldwide have joined the MSDN Academic Alliance. In Sri Lanka too, the demand for computer science education is growing at both the secondary and tertiary level. Through this academic initiative, Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to help ensure that educational institutions and students have access to our most current technologies. The MSDN Academic Alliance specially caters to the unique requirements of the worldwide academic community and hence, will offer the University of Kelaniya students and faculty a wide range of licensed Microsoft software and facilities, enabling them to have an edge in the industry. We look forward to many such collaborations with the academic community in Sri Lanka.`, said Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka.
The MSDN Academic Alliance will also enable students enrolled in credit courses within the departments to be able to download software on their personal PCs for use in their coursework and personal projects at no additional cost. Other benefits include a comprehensive website where faculty will find program registration and news, projects, tutorials, academically focused articles, special offers for members, active online community and private newsgroups for collaborating with academicians both nationally and worldwide. The concept of e-academy will enable the easy management and distribution of software to these students. Through this partnership, the department will also make available to their students and faculty members unlimited access to the latest licensed software, development tools and technologies for .NET - Microsoft`s next-generation Web application platform, and resources for integrating these tools into the university?s technology curriculum.
Commenting at the occasion, Prof. K.D.D. Jayasuriya, Dean, Faculty of Science said, `The students of today are the future of tomorrow. Our alliance with Microsoft, will greatly benefit the students, keeping them abreast and giving them access to the latest technological advancements. This is our undertaking to help create the next generation of IT professionals, with a high quality of knowledge, global competitiveness and zeal to take the country into a new era of e-living.`
Adding to this, Mr Chandima H. de Silva, Head, Department of Statistics & Computer Science thanked Microsoft Sri Lanka for supporting University of Kelaniya?s efforts to enhance Computer Science education in the country and provide Sri Lankan students with the same opportunities available to students in more developed countries.