Improving research skills | Daily News

Improving research skills

Vice Chancellor of University of Sri Jayewardenepura Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunge (L) shakes hands with Prof. Terrence Perera (R-Front) from Sheffield Hallam University and Dr U. Anura Kumara (R-Back), Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Vice Chancellor of University of Sri Jayewardenepura Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunge (L) shakes hands with Prof. Terrence Perera (R-Front) from Sheffield Hallam University and Dr U. Anura Kumara (R-Back), Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

The Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the Department of Engineering and Mathematics, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom) have set up a joint research and development cooperation to address real-world issues in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and other related fields of business management. Recently, two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for research and academic programme development. Currently, a programme of industry-oriented applied research is being formulated. Within this context, the research team would like to identify critical and challenging issues in local industries which enable the team to shape and target their research work.

It is a known problem in Sri Lanka that most academic research conducted in universities is not well-aligned with the needs of the industry. This alignment is greatly needed in the business management field in order to achieve national level recognition. This misalignment often leads to;

Accumulation of research outcomes that won’t have any considerable impact on the performance improvement in organizations

Lack of practical relevance of the new knowledge generated

Waste of research resources in universities

Low levels of business performance due to the lack of knowledge in state-of-the-art methods and technologies.

Inability of local organizations to move with global trends and compete in international markets

The MoU between the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce and the Sheffield Hallam University mainly focuses on research in the areas of:

Operations management

Logistics and supply chain management

Technology management

Quality management

Academic staff members in both universities who have research interest and expertise in these areas will engage in the research projects undertaken. A huge interest of industry professionals was observed in a workshop conducted last year at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura where Prof. Terrence Perera, the MoU coordinator from the Sheffield Hallam University was the chief resource person. Consequently, some organizations have started research projects under this collaborative research programme.

Sheffield Hallam University is well-known in the UK and beyond for its outstanding work with industry. Their academic and research programmes always aim to meet the needs of industry and professional bodies. For example, MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management course at Sheffield Hallam University has been accredited by the Charted Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and the Charted Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). This ensures that the course produce industry-ready graduates.

Closely aligned with the course is their Integrated Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Research Group which has delivered high profile research, consultancy and Knowledge Partnership Programmes in collaboration with companies such as BAE SYSTEMS, Boots (the leading health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain in the UK), Fosters Bakery Rolls Royce and Sheffield Children’s’ Hospital.

The partnership between two institutes will enable the transfer of best-practices and new technologies which should lead to better industry-academia interactions in Sri Lanka and the deployment of new methods and technologies in industry.

Benefits to the academia

Conducting research with local industries will enable universities to create direct links that will help them to develop academic programmes aligned with the industry requirements. By undertaking industry-based research projects under the MoU, the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Sheffield Hallam University get to actively contribute to the development of local industries.

In return, the academic staff in both universities will receive substantial opportunities for research publications in both national and international conferences and academic journals. This will help the academia to share their knowledge and improve research skills up to world standards as well as to contribute to the country and society.


 

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