The activities of the AMP-UoC Stream commenced in Phase 2 of the AMP Programme. AMP-UoC Stream activities in this phase focused on developing a culture of academic mentoring within the University of Colombo. Mentor training sessions were offered to academic staff of all faculties/institutes /campuses of the University of Colombo. A series comprising six sessions was conducted with support from established overseas University programs on mentoring. These sessions aimed at developing the mentoring skills and capacity of academic staff to serve as mentors. These sessions provided an opportunity for sharing experiences, critical self-appraisal and obtaining input from content experts. Program establishment support sessions were also offered to participating institutes. Some of the faculties/campuses/institutes who participated in the program have gone on to establish their programs in their individual institutes.
During this phase the AMP also developed many international collaborations and received support from many international institutions including the Academy of Medical Sciences, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, University of Bristol and University of Oxford in the UK, University of California San Francisco, USA and Monash University in Malaysia.
In addition to the above described workshops of the Program Establishment Support Series, the AMP also organized a Pre-congress Workshop on Mentoring in February 2020 in conjunction with the Colombo Medical Congress held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo and the University of Colombo Mentoring Day in January 2021 as a post congress activity of the University of Colombo Annual Research Symposium.
A University Network in mentoring has been developed including nominated academic staff members from each faculty/institute/campus. The main aim of this network group is to Inculcate and maintain a mentoring culture within the University of Colombo. The activities carried out include facilitating and supporting individual in-house academic mentoring programmes in each institute, establishing a University of Colombo Mentors Pool and supporting other Phase 3 activities of the AMP through the development of a common University process to support early career academics.
The Faculty of Science has been conducting a mentoring program targeting the professional development of the new recruits to the academic staff of the Faculty, In line with the Academic Mentoring Program of the University of Colombo, since the beginning of 2021. The programme has been affiliated with the Career Guidance Unit of the Faculty, and it was initiated with the appointment of a Mentoring Committee including a Coordinator and an Advisor. Under this program, each newly recruited probationary academic staff member (mentee) have the opportunity to professionally develop through continued communication and guidance of an experienced person (mentor), to reach academic excellence through teaching, learning activities, research, and service to the university and outside community. The objective of the program is to promote academic excellence within the young academics of the faculty targeting a quality output at individual-, institutional-, and societal/national level. In line with the guidelines of the Academic mentoring program of the University, it is essential that all the probationary lecturers follow the mentorship program for a minimum period of 3 years. Currently, twenty-three registered mentees and are being mentored by sixteen senior academics under the programme. The mentees have been mentored/trained through one-to-one interactive meetings with the respective mentors, and a series workshops organized for training young academics.
An Academic Mentoring Program where a senior faculty member mentors a junior faculty member on how to progress in their academic life was commenced in January 2017 with the initiative taken by the IQAC of Sri Palee Campus for the first time and the first meeting was held with all academic members to launch this program on the 16th of January, 2017. A TOR on mentoring program and duties of mentors and mentees and “To Do” and ”No to Do” list by both mentors and mentees, developed by the IQAC of Sri Palee Campus and approved by the statutory bodies was distributed among all academic members in this meeting.
Under the direction of the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, the Faculty of Medicine initiated a training program on academic mentoring for all faculties, institutes in December 2018. Dr. K.V. Dhanapala as the Coordinator of IQAC was nominated to attend these training programs. She participated in six training workshops on the academic mentoring organized by the AMP-UCFM held during the period starting from December 2018 to September 2019. After attending these training programs, the IQAC of Sri Palee Campus with the intention of improving and continuing the program moving forward invited Prof. W. Gunathunga from the Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and University of Colombo to hold a special workshop on academic mentoring for all academic members of the Campus on the 24th of May 2019.
Similarly, as a consequence of attending these training workshop conducted by the AMP- UCFM, a comprehensive Manual for Academic Mentoring was developed by the Coordinator of the IQAC of the Sri Palee Campus and approved by statutory bodies of the university. Moreover, a special workshop on academic mentoring program was conducted for all academic members of the Campus on the 28th of February 2020 and the printed ‘’Manual of Academic Mentoring Program’’ was distributed among all academic mentors for their reference. Currently the Academic Mentoring Program for junior members is continuing successfully. The initiative taken by team of the AMP-UCFM headed by Dr. Yamuna Siriwardhana was behind the success of our program and we all appreciate their efforts and their great contributions in this regard.
Dr. K.V. Dhanapala,
Sri Palee Campus,
University of Colombo
Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, Rajagiriya, is the leading institute of the country with an excellent history of 92 years. The institutional academic staffs are fully qualified with PhD, MD,and MPhil after their basic BAMS degree. In-addition, they have also earned their CTHE certification from the SDC, University of Colombo, while some of them achieved SEDA (UK) accreditation.
We congratulate and appreciate the newly established AMP-UCFM programme took off under the able leadership of Senior Lecturer Dr. Yamuna Siriwardana (MBBS, PhD) for giving our institute this great opportunity and encouraging the participants to develop their own AMP culture in their institutes.
With this motivation from the AMP-UCFM, IIM has also recognized academic mentoring as a good practice and timely need in higher education offering a sound Framework for quality Professional Development (PDF) by improving strength and quality of newly recruited staff. This is an improvement of educational and professional development in higher education and is greatly promoted by the professional Association for Staff and Educational Developers (SEDA) in the UK through innovation and good practice in higher education.
An initiate step of Academic Mentoring Programme, well qualified mentors possessing mentoring skills and mindset will be appointed to guide the mentees (newly recruited staff) through the process of developing them professionally. Applications were called for the posts of Academic Mentors as per the decisions taken at the 316th Ayurveda sectional committee meeting held on 13.03.2019.
To further this mentoring programme, IIM has also encouraged their senior academics to apply for a common pool of academic mentors to be recruited by the AMP-UCFM.
At the 4th workshop of AMP held on 10.07.2019 at the Faculty of Medicine, I had fact fully presented on the progress made by IIM-AMP programme and pointed out the ancient wisdom on mentoring. I had further deliberated on the mentoring concept under the following terms, Apta, Guru, Upadhyaya and Acharya that were used to identify a good mentor in Ayurveda discipline. This was well received by the organizers and the participants as well.
We are covering this concept in UG Programme, (BAMS First Professional) under the subject of Ayurveda Philosophy.