Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Messdiener, Aug 21, 2012.

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  1. Messdiener

    Messdiener New Member

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    Hello, everyone!

    While surfing around for various distance learning opportunities in Asia, I came across the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka. While I suspect the greatest number of their students are local, there is a portion of the school's site that displays programs and courses for External Studies. I have yet to discover how foreign students are able to sit exams while abroad, but perhaps this might be worth exploring if you are interested in the religion or languages of this region.

    Enjoy!

    Messdiener

    P.S. If someone else has already heard of this university before, perhaps they can provide us further insights into the reputation of the institution and the education that it offers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2012
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    The correct name of the school is the "Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka". Pali is a classical Indian language, related to Sanskrit, which was widely used for ancient Buddhist texts.

    I don't think they can. If you look more closely at specific external degree programs, you will see that exams are held in an "Examination Centre" in Columbo. I suspect that in this case, the term "external" means "off-campus" -- but it doesn't mean "worldwide".

    *****

    The best DL options that I know of for Buddhist or Pali studies are at the University of Wales, Newport. This program is a continuation of one that was previously established at the University of Sunderland (which ended after the lead professor retired).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2012
  3. Messdiener

    Messdiener New Member

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    Forgive! It was just a typo. If an admin can change that, it would be much appreciated.
     
  4. Messdiener

    Messdiener New Member

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    As for the matter of external studies, it may not mean much, but the university's mission statement mentions that it wishes to "achieve excellence, by means of providing knowledge in Buddhism, Pali and related fields [...] both in and outside Sri Lanka."

    As for other programs, my favourite is probably the International Buddhist College in Southern Thailand. The prices are competitive, and I received prompt, detailed responses to my questions about their programs.
     
  5. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

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    Thanks for starting a thread about it.

    While I think that the great majority of their students are local Sri Lankans, it's possible that many/most of them are "external". My impression is that the Buddhist and Pali University started its life largely as an examining body, specializing in administering examinations and awarding degrees to monks studying in 'pirivenas' (traditional monastic schools) inside Sri Lankan monasteries. The Buddhist and Pali University has gradually been evolving into a more conventional university arrangement with buildings, professors, classes and the kind of stuff we would expect a university to have.

    I'm still not sure whether they accept lay students, or whether all of their applicants are expected to be Bhikkhus. The school seems to presuppose that incoming students will already have some familiarity with the Pali language.

    A prospective student would need to determine whether or not external students need to already be connected to organizations, monastic or otherwise, that function as colleges affiliated with the university. It isn't clear to me whether unaffiliated lone-ranger students overseas would succeed as external students here, or what kind of instruction or support (if any) the university would offer them.

    I have heard that there's a Buddhist organization that functions as a Buddhist and Pali affiliate in Singapore, so apparently some exist outside Sri Lanka. About five years ago there was talk about establishing a Buddhist and Pali University affiliated college in the United States, which would in turn offer conventional DL internet classes, but nothing seems to have come of it. The talk was that exams would be administered in Sri Lankan embassies or consulates, or something.

    I don't know very much. The school is formally "GAAP", it's established by an act of the Sri Lankan Parliament, it's recognized by that country's ministry of education, and the school is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. As to its reputation, my guess is that it's extremely obscure outside Sri Lanka, but perhaps kind of well-regarded inside the country, probably in part because of its association with the Bhikkhus and their traditions.
     
  6. Messdiener

    Messdiener New Member

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    Thanks to Bill for the thorough follow-up post! Much appreciated!

    And thanks to Ted for fixing my error in the original post!
     

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