The concluding years of the 1970’s recognised a requirement for the tri-forces to obtain not only military expertise, but an academic education, too. Following this necessity, former prime minister, General Sir John Kotelawala, donated 48 acres of his personal estate in Kandawala to the tri-forces in 1980. This grew to be the dawn of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy. The Academy has now matured into a fully-fledged university, consisting of nine faculties, offering both undergraduate and graduate studies.
Several decades into the future, towards this present date, the capacity of Kotelawala Defence University was deemed insufficient to meet the growing demand of students and academics, and inspiration bloomed to broaden this network. Consequently, a corporate plan was developed in 2012 that foresaw a vision to establish campuses in the North and South. Thus, when the opportunity was provided to commence a University Village in Sooriyaweva, KDU accepted the brave challenge of becoming pioneers and establishing not only the Faculty of Computing, but also initiating the Faculty of Built Environment and Spatial Sciences from scratch on 140 acres of land vested by the government.
Due to the unremitting and steadfast commitment and contribution of the great minds behind the development of the Southern Campus, this harsh land was terra-formed and transformed into the present day institution that is rapidly making progress towards globally being a vital academic hub. Having started off from untamed land and the strength and allegiance to continue this project, this picturesque campus, surrounded by natural forests, scenic lakes, and breathtaking horizons, now comprises of two faculties and five departments, offering numerous degrees. The Southern Campus of KDU is currently home to approximately a hundred students, housed in living quarters provided by the university. Cadets and day scholars alike reside and learn cordially, creating an atmosphere of mutual understanding and comradeship. Furthermore, within barely a year, the university is now able to provide students with sports facilities, library facilities, computer labs, fully equipped architectural studios, latest laboratory equipment, and quality tertiary education.
This progress does not stop here. Future plans for the institution include initiating a flying school within the Southern Campus, using Maththala airport as a resource. Likewise, this is only the starting chapter of the book narrating the grand journey of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Southern Campus.