A Synopsis of Our History

Teaching humanities and social sciences in Sri Lanka is closely linked to the historical evolution of the University of Colombo.  The largest faculty of the University of Colombo, the Faculty of Arts, is made up of eleven Departments, four Academic Units, five Centres and one Institute where studies and research in areas of humanities and social sciences are undertaken.

The origin of the faculty dates back to the early 20th Century, when the Ceylon University College (CUC) was established in January 1921 at the “College House”, which was formerly known as the “Regina Walauwa”.  The Ceylon University College was the first government establishment in Sri Lanka where courses in humanities and social sciences were offered. With the establishment of the University of Ceylon in April 1942, the courses offered in humanities and social sciences were upgraded to a faculty for the first time. In 1963, a new Faculty of Arts was established in Colombo as a part of the University of Ceylon, which continues to function to date. Later, in 1978, under the Universities Act No.16 of 1978, all campuses of the then single university became independent universities. Accordingly, the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka became an autonomous body in 1978 with the Faculty of Arts as one of its prominent faculties.