The University of Keele has licensed the first overseas MSc programme in information technology in Sri Lanka, a country that is keen to rival the success of its neighbour India in becoming a software development hub.
The course has been launched at the Centre for Postgraduate Studies at the Informatics Institute of Technology in Colombo.
It was inaugurated by the secretary of the ministry of higher education and information technology, R. P. Gunawardana.
Chris Hawksley, course coordinator and senior lecturer at Keele's computer science department, said: "There's a huge demand in the country. The course has some high-profile students, with some senior people from banks with very good qualifications."
Dr Hawksley said that lecturers for the course would include the heads of the computing departments from four of Sri Lanka's main universities.
Graduates in any discipline are eligible for the programme, even if they have no experience in information technology.
The private institute added that non-graduates with large industry experience would also be able to apply.
Keele has been conducting the MSc programme for more than ten years in the United Kingdom and the university has a long-standing relationship with Sri Lanka.
A statement from the institute said: "For the first time in Sri Lanka, the Informatics Institute of Technology is bringing this highly recognised degree to the doorstep of Sri Lankans in an affordable manner.
"In this age of information technology, this MSc programme provides an opportunity for Sri Lankans to get a world-class qualification in cutting-edge IT technology in a convenient and efficient manner."