Academia Initiative

Academia Initiative

As Buddhism expands in the West, it is important to make sure that authentic Buddhist studies are included at the highest level of academia. In the East, this degree of academic excellence historically existed only in monasteries and dharma centers. Today, this rigorous academic scholarship exists primarily in major universities. In order to inspire students and faculty alike, Buddhist study and research programs at the university level require Buddhist teachers and scholars who have a thorough grounding and grasp of Buddhism’s traditions, and the open mindedness to debate its role in today’s world.

Khyentse Foundation has a successful record of supporting academic development, starting with the establishment of the Khyentse Chair of Buddhist Studies at the University of California in Berkeley in 2008 and the Khyentse Center for Buddhist Textual Scholarship at Hamburg University in 2010. In 2012, the KF board approved plans to set up a special Academia Fund to further expand its support to academic institutions.

In addition to supporting established institutions in western academia, efforts are being made to strengthen Buddhist studies programs in formerly Buddhist countries, such as India, China, Mongolia, Cambodia, and even Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia, and in countries that are not traditionally Buddhist but where interest is high, such as Bulgaria, Poland, and Hungary. This flexible collaborative support program can range from endowing traditional chairs and visiting professors to support for seminars, forums, and exchange programs, as well as scholarships for graduate students and research.