The Organisers

University of


The University of Sunderland is a global institution. It offers life-changing opportunities to thousands of students across the world, in its partner colleges and in its four main sites (two in Sunderland, London, and Hong Kong).

It is research active, with ten areas of ‘world leading’ research (Pharmacy, Engineering, Business, Education, Social Work, Sports and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism, English, History, Art and Design, and Media). The research activity of the University provides a research informed curriculum, enhancing the academic standing of the institution as a seat of higher learning and scholarship, undertaking research which both enhances the learning experience of its students, and delivers impact. Its research is stitched into the fabric of the institution. For decades researchers at the University have challenged themselves to improve society across all its facets – from the early days of pharmacy to support for heavy industry at its height to today’s new sciences and advanced technologies.

Centre for Research in



The research centre (CERTE) was established in 2017, and has already engaged in numerous activities and projects. The name CERTE stands for Centre for Research in Tourism Excellence.

CERTE is at the heart of the Department for Tourism Hospitality and Events (T.H.E.) of the University of Sunderland, and operates as the beacon for knowledge generation through research implementation. It is dedicated to employ both, applied and academic research in tourism hospitality and events. It aims to impact on the generation of knowledge as well as its application in the industry. Moreover, it operates as a platform for research led teaching and provision of better education and knowledge dissemination.

Research in T.H.E. Department is underpinned by a critical, interdisciplinary approach that mirrors the dynamic nature of tourism, hospitality and events in contemporary societies. CERTE’s vision is to position the University of Sunderland as a leading centre for research in T.H.E. Therefore, it is committed to undertake world leading research that underpins the curriculum and delivers impact to the wider community. The pillars of CERTE’s research engagement are: (i) tourism, (ii) hospitality, and (iii) events. Its research connects these pillars of the service industry, and formulates knowledge under a multidisciplinary perspective.

International College of




Established in 1999, the International College of Business & Technology is one of the leading private sector higher education service provider in Sri Lanka. ICBT offers masters, undergraduate degrees, higher diplomas, diplomas, certificates, and language courses that prepare students for careers, help them to upgrade skills, or transfer to other educational programmes. Our mission is to “Provide, together with internationally reputed universities and educational institutes, high quality educational programmes, which will enhance the quality of the human resources available for the job market at an affordable level, thereby contributing to the social & economic development of the nation”. ICBT campus has seven branches island-wide with more than 8,000 fulltime students and over 35,000 Alumni, and is rated as the fastest growing private sector educational institute in Sri Lanka by Commonwealth Education Partnerships.

UK Research and


Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). UKRI brings together seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Through the councils UKRI maintain and champion the creativity and vibrancy of disciplines and sector-specific priorities and communities. Councils shape and deliver both sectoral and domain-specific support. Whether through research council grants, quality-related block grants from Research England, or grants and wider support for innovative businesses from Innovate UK, UKRI work with our stakeholders to understand the opportunities and requirements of all the different parts of the research and innovation landscape, maintaining the health, breadth and depth of the system.