Oblate Institute of Higher Learning (OIHL)

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Introduction

Oblate Institute of Higher Learning (OIHL) is the result of immense courage, vision and the collective response of the Oblates of the Province of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and others who put together their heart and soul to find a way to comprehensively address conflict transformation which is a crying need in post-war Sri Lanka. OIHL’s firm intention is to prepare hearts

To respond to this pressing need in the field of education, OIHL was established on 21st May 2016 during the Bi-centenary Jubilee Celebration held at Fatima church, Maradana, Colombo 10.


Description of the Diploma Course:

Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (Conflict and Peace Studies) is composed of four Certificate Courses:

  • Certificate Course on Conflict Transformation
  • Certificate Course on Inter-Religious Dialogue and Peace Building
  • Certificate Course on Psychological Counselling as a Path to Peace
  • Certificate Course on Social Engagement for Peace and Reconciliation
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We have three types of students who follow this programme:
  • Those who follow all the four certificate courses and sit for exams and write a thesis to Obtain the Diploma
  • Those who follow the certificate courses of their choice and sit for the exams to Obtain the Certificates for the courses they follow
  • Those who follow the courses as audit students (they do not sit for exams)

Objectives of OIHL and their achievements

OIHL has four Objectives

  • To train men and women engaged in humanitarian services to improve and increase their potential skills to provide a qualitative service of high standard in areas related to conflict transformation at all levels.
  • To offer both contemporary theoretical and practical know-how to those involved or interested in the technicalities and strategies of peacebuilding at a professional level through highly qualified experts in conflict transformation
  • To open avenues to those engaged in sustainable peacebuilding through knowledge of a variety of religious traditions prevailing in the country, and psychological counselling, human rights and transitional justice combined with an exposure to the major religions and their value systems that promote peace through reconciliation
  • To lay a solid foundation for peace and reconciliation through a critical approach to concepts, systems and methodologies for those intending to pursue further studies in this particular area of social and cultural engagement
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1. Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, Academic Year 2016-2017

The Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding undertaken by OIHL was inaugurated on 1st of October, 2016 at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Deans Road, Colombo - 10.

2. Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, Academic Year 2017-2018

The Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding undertaken by the Institute for National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (INRPB - OIHL) was inaugurated on 14th Oct. 2017 at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Deans Road, Colombo - 10.

3. Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, Academic Year 2019

The Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding undertaken by the Institute for National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding (INRPB - OIHL) was inaugurated on January 05th, 2019 at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Deans Road, Colombo - 10.

Lessons learnt

This Diploma Course is offered to those who are already engaged in reconciliation and peace building activities and also for those who would like to be involved in this process.

What we have learned is that those who are already engaged, in this kind of work, although they desire to enhance their knowledge and skills, finding time has been a problem to them. This is one of the reasons why only a few choose to follow the full Diploma Course, sitting for the exams and spending time to write a thesis. Some, depending on the time available to them, choose to follow one or two certificate courses and wait to complete the four in the following year. Those who are audit students, that is those who would like to follow the programme but do not wish to sit for exams, do so to improve their knowledge in this field.

Those students who follow the course to obtain certificates or a diploma are evaluated by the lecturers through exams conducted both in written and oral forms. We are fairly satisfied with this procedure. But what we have learnt is that since English is the medium of instruction, some students have found it somewhat difficult to perform their best. Opportunities have been given to the students to express themselves in their local languages. The lecturers have confirmed to us that the overall performance of the students have been satisfactory.


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Recognition of the Diploma Programme

The Diploma in National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding conducted by the Oblate Institute of Higher Learning is recognized and approved by the Government of Sri Lanka through the Ministry of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages. OIHL received the official letter of approval signed by the Hon. Minister Mano Ganesan, the Minister of the said ministry on 29th Sep. 2017. We are working towards the recognition of OIHL by the Government of Sri Lanka through the University Grant Commission. This process is very meticulous and involves a heavy spending.

St. Paul’s University (SPU) of Ottawa, which is a University of the Oblate province of Canada, has entered into a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Oblate Institute of Higher Learning (OIHL) concerning the Diploma Course. Our hope is to gain full recognition of our Diploma Course by SPU in the future.

From 2019, OIHL is a permanent member of Association of Oblate Institutes of Higher Learning (AOIHL).

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Recognition of the Diploma Programme

We are very grateful to OMI Australian Province and especially to MAMI Australia for their generous contribution towards the realization of the Academic programme of the Oblate Institute of Higher Learning (OIHL). We are also grateful to Porticus Asia for their financial support.

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