Int'l Buddhist missionary university opens in Yangon.
The International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, the world's first permanent center of higher learning of Theravada Buddhism, was opened Wednesday with a ceremony in a northern suburb of Yangon. More than 1,000 Buddhist monks, including many from other countries, Myanmar leaders, students, and guests from 14 nations attended the inauguration ceremony. Anyone who has the educational qualifications prescribed by the university can apply for admission, regardless of gender, race, religion or creed. Entrance examinations for foreign students are held at Myanmar embassies abroad. The university will provide free tuition, lodging and food for students. Classes will begin Thursday for the 107 students, including 54 foreign monks, nuns and lay students, who passed the entrance exam for the one-year diploma course. After the first year, students can continue for bachelor, master and doctorate degree courses. The 54 foreign students attending the first-year course come from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The university was established to promote and propagate genuine Theravada Buddhism.