Having envisioned the emerging socioeconomic and pedagogic developments allied to tertiary and higher education coupled with trends in defence and strategic studies globally, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) was contemplating on setting up a defence-related higher education entity towards the latter stage of 1970s. This idea saw its fruition with the donation of a 48-acre personal estate in Kandawala belonged to late Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, General Sir John Kotelawala for the use of tri-services in 1980. This was the steppingstone laid to the emergence of present elite KDU complex, which was initially founded as Kotelawala Defence Academy. With the passage of time and in compliance with timely andragogical transformations, the KDU now functions with all-inclusive nine faculties, conferring highly regarded graduate and postgraduate degrees for both officer cadets of tri-services and day scholars. 

While the KDU was on a steady progressive march, an exigent need was felt to expand its functioning owing to soaring demands of academic circles and a corporate plan was mooted to expand the university academic landscape in 2012 by adding up two campuses in the North and in the South. Concurrently, the KDU endeavoured the gigantic undertaking of establishing a university village in Sooriyawewa in a 140-acre stretch of land, entitled as ‘KDU Southern Campus’ armed with the much sought-after Faculty of Computing and Faculty of Built Environment and Spatial Sciences along with English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU). The zealous courage and ardent dedication of the institutional staff were instrumental in reforming a bare wildland to an academically nurtured higher education body, setting benchmarks for globally standardized and professionally oriented disciplines of a vast array.

Thus, at present, ‘KDU Southern Campus’ adroitly stands with pride being an elegant hallmark in the southern theatre intermingled by verdant greenwoods, sylvan ponds and astounding panoramic scenery, offering graduate degrees from five departments falling under two quintessential faculties. The campus caters to around six hundred residential students which comprises serving tri-forces Officer Cadets and day scholars who evince dearly bonds of inter-cultural harmony, committing their optimal potential towards achieving academic excellence. In tandem with world class higher and tertiary education, the campus provides undergraduates with ample facilities ranging in recreation, sports facilities, access to a fully-furnished library, computer labs, state-of-the-art architectural studios, and customized refreshments served in a round the clock cafeteria.

The exhilarating progressive march of KDU Southern Campus is never-ending and a myriad of plans of augmentations are on cards, the latest being the inception of a flying school within the Southern Campus in conjunction with Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA). Thus, every unfolding day brings heightened aspirations of unprecedented enhancements to KDU Southern Campus, the nonpareil jewel of scholastic masterpiece of the Southern Sri Lanka.