In August 2017, Khyentse Foundation celebrated a groundbreaking partnership with the University of Sydney in Australia, establishing a new academic position in Tibetan Buddhist Studies. The lectureship – called the “Khyentse Foundation and University Buddhist Education Foundation Lectureship in Tibetan Buddhism” (KF-UBEF) – is jointly funded by KF and UBEF (with support from the Aberbaldie Foundation), and has an initial term of 5 years. The lectureship was officially inaugurated on August 11, 2017 at the university. Rinpoche, KF representatives, and the core partnership team all attended.

Thanks to the KF-UBEF Lectureship and the courses to be offered through it, the University of Sydney now offers the most comprehensive Buddhist Studies program in the Australasian region and in the Southern Hemisphere.

Digital Storytellers was on the ground to document the occasion and interview key players. Watch their video of the inauguration.

“I worry that Buddhism will end up getting watered down, diluted into something that will suit the minds of modern people. There will always be a group of people who approach Buddhism emotionally. But these academics, intellectuals, students who contemplate and study through academic means – they will have a lot of authority to truly guard the teachings of the Buddha. This is something I really care about.”

— Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche at inauguration of the KF-UBEF Lectureship at University of Sydney, Australia, August 11, 2017

“I see a lot of potential for Buddhist and Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Sydney and in an Australasian and worldwide network. Along side researching the rich heritage of the different Tibetan and Buddhist cultures on the basis of textual sources, it will be useful to foster inter- and cross-disciplinary ways of teaching and research. It would be helpful to take into account contemporary dimensions. I hope that wider interest in the translation and study of Tibetan and Buddhist texts as well as the different issues of translation can be stimulated.”
— Dr. Jim Rheingans, newly appointed KF-UBEF lecturer