Emeritus Professor Harischandra Abeygunawardena
(BVSc, MSc, PhD & DSc)
Prof. Harischandra Abeygunawardena is s renowned academic with extensive experience in the fields of animal production and health, and higher education. He received his primary and secondary education from Mandaduwa Primary School (1956-1958), Rahula College (1959-1966) and Mahinda College (1968-1969), bachelor’s education from the University of Peradeniya (1973-1977) and postgraduate education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (1981-1987). Commenced his academic career in 1978 as an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science of the University of Peradeniya and then got promoted to the grade of Senior Lecturer in 1987, Professor in 2000, and Senior Professor in 2008. In 2000, the became the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science and continued in this capacity until he assumed duties as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya in 2006. In October 2009, he was appointed as a member of the University Grants Commission and served in that capacity until March 2015. He retired from the university service in April 2015. In 2017, Prof Abeygunawardena was bestowed with the honour of being one of the most outstanding alumni of the University of Peradeniya at its Diamond Jubilee Ceremony, and in recognition of scholastic achievements and academic leadership, and his outstanding contribution made to the field of higher education, he was awarded the Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the University of Peradeniya at the 83rd Convocation held on 30th August 2022. He served as a member of the governing boards of many government organizations, statutory bodies, and private sector organizations. He undertook several overseas consultancy assignments for the Animal Production and Health Division of FAO/IAEA, and local consultancy assignments in the fields of animal production and health and higher education. He was a renowned researcher, supervised many graduate students, published many research articles, and co-authored many academic publications.
Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the National Education Commission, the apex body for national education policy and standards formulation, the Chancellor of the University of Vocational Technology, and a member of Governing Councils of the University of Kelaniya, Gampaha Wirckramaarachi University of Indigenous Medicine, and National Institute of Education, and as a non-executive Director of the Bairaha Farms (PLC).