The Colombo University Community Extension Centre (CUCEC) is the first and only national university-based centre initiated to bring together the Community, Industry Experts, Policy Makers and Academics to successfully address the prevailing challenges for achieving socio-economic development of the country through synergizing the Systematic Knowledge, Pragmatic Expertise, Action-Oriented Research, development-Driven Innovation.
Therefore, the CUCEC provides a sound platform for all relevant stakeholders to come together to design and to provide necessary stimulation to implement most productive development -oriented solutions, founded on evidence-based research and local wisdom.
Application of multidisciplinary approach is employed by the CUCEC in knowledge driven problem-solving endeavours create an effective pathway to formulate the right policy solutions. It can prevent the unintentional consequences and repercussions of such initiations. The members of the community are to be enlightened and also become a part of the solution and therefore their productive cooperation would be high.
Local wisdom of community helps to clearly identify the roots of the social problems. The Industrial experts bring forth modern ideas, innovation and technical expertise on different solution-based options. The policy makers bring forth the different development requirements with wholistic vision, identifying the possible challenges to be overcome. Academics bring forth the intellectual know-how and analytical thinking, conceptualizing the knowledge contribution for economic development through evidenced based research findings.
Additionally, CUCEC provides opportunities to internal students and young unemployed graduates to gain hands – on experiences in community and related development works. The practical experiences and the highly interactive work environment help the students to widen their knowledge with practical applications as young educated and budding academics. These young students also get opportunities to expand their professional and industry networks in their respective fields of study. Therefore, the students would be well skilled and more employable.
The CUCEC uses multi-level stakeholders’ participatory approach (instead of top to bottom or bottom to top approaches). This provides opportunity to understand the development challenges in-depth and realistically, with a technological and experts’ dimension as well. On the other hand, the triangular consultation makes a way to dissect the most complicated social challenges and to design realistic solutions in a fast-moving world.