The Department of English has established links with international universities and funding bodies to enhance the quality of its Honours programme. The Department has a robust collaboration with the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany since 2009 which includes research collaborations as well as a student exchange programme. In terms of international research collaborations, the Department is engaged in the International Corpus of English – Sri Lanka (ICE-SL), a joint linguistics research project with JLU, Germany. ICE-SL is presently the only corpus of Sri Lankan English worldwide, and its data has been used in national and international conference papers and journal articles. It has also provided students of the Department of English with specialized training in research skills, such as data collection, coding and transcribing Sri Lankan English speech. Under the student exchange programme, the Department has sent 3-4 Special Degree students each year to for a semester to Justus Liebig University (JLU), Giessen, Germany, while students from JLU, Giessen have come to the Department for a semester. This international collaboration gives students of the Department the opportunity to spend a semester overseas in Germany with full credit transfer so that they do not lose time in obtaining their degree, and the opportunity of experiencing student life in Europe. This exchange agreement is open to academic staff of the English Departments at both Universities as well. A broader agreement of cooperation between JLU, Germany and the University of Colombo was signed in 2017 based on the success of the programme with this Department.
In 2017, the Department of English signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) to promote international student exchange (undergraduate and postgraduate) and closer cooperation in research and teaching. Furthermore, in September 2018, the Department won a collaborative research project grant from the University of Zurich for a research project between academic staff from the Department of English, University of Colombo, and the Department of Religious Studies, University of Zurich. The project is titled “Intimacy in the Digital Media” and the collaboration between the two Departments will strengthen the academic and research-oriented relationships between the University of Colombo and the University of Zurich.