A Khyentse Foundation team of data collectors, experts in Buddhist higher education, and their advisors is hard at work to identify centers of excellence in Buddhist education all over the world, with a three-fold goal:
• To assess the status of Buddhist studies in universities around the world today • To identify areas where the support of Khyentse Foundation, as well as other charitable organizations, can be most useful • To publish the findings and make them available to organizations and individuals interested in promoting the academic study of Buddhism.
The team is collecting information from over 100 universities in 35 countries. By the end of 2008, they expect to complete the basic research and to begin reviewing and compiling all of the questionnaires and other information. And early in 2009, they hope to narrow the search to a short list of top institutions.
It has long been Rinpoche’s vision to encourage the academic study of dharma at the university level. The Khyentse Foundation Distinguished Professorship in Tibetan Buddhism, established at the University of California at Berkeley, is the first fruit of that vision. (See “A Four Year Collaboration Comes to Fruition.”) The survey is the Foundation’s effort to objectively explore opportunities to support Buddhist studies around the world. We are also working to establish cultural and educational exchange programs between traditional Buddhist institutes and major universities.