Department of Pāli & Buddhist Studies


In the University of Kelaniya, the Department of Pāli and Buddhist Studies, in the Faculty of Humanities is a pioneer seat of studying Buddhism in Sri Lanka which has originated with the foundation of the University in Vidyalankāra Pirivena premises, Peliyagoda in 1875. The Department has been functioning in the present premises from 1959 in the new name University of Kelaniya. From then on, the Department has contributed immensely for the promotion and expansion of Pāli and Buddhist studies, producing thousands of graduates and postgraduate academics from whom some have become world-recognized Buddhist scholars. From the beginning, the Department of Pāli and Buddhist studies has been conducting General and Special Degree programmes in three subjects Pāli, Buddhist Philosophy and Buddhist Culture. At present, there are nearly a hundred MA, Mphil and PhD students registered with FGS and working under the supervision of the academic staff of the Department. The Department has also two years MA programmes in both Sinhala and English medium. Further, the Department has earned an international reputation because of its Diploma Course in Pāli and Buddhist Studies for foreign students. During the period of the last 23 years, this programme has also been able to produce a large sum of foreign income to Sri Lanka. The Department also conducts a Diploma in Buddhist studies (one year) course and a MA course in Buddhist studies (one year) in Malaysia with the collaboration of Malaysian Buddhist Academy in Kuala Lumpur. In 2014, the department signed an MoU with the Benhuan Academy, Shenzhen, China, to conduct a BA Honours Degree programme in Buddhist Studies, under which two batches of Chinese students have completed their degree programmes successfully. In 2017, the Department signed another MoU with the Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong to conduct Diploma in Buddhist Studies Programme to Hong Kong community. In addition to above in 2018, the Mindfulness Research and Training Academy, Augusta, USA has come to an agreement with the Department to introduce a Diploma in Buddhist Studies programme to America. As one of the oldest Departments of the University of Kelaniya, the Department of Pāli and Buddhist Studies of the Faculty of Humanities, has proposed a new Degree programme on Buddhist Psychology, in addition to its existing Degree Programmes of Pāli, Buddhist Philosophy and Buddhist Culture, so as to support its academic studies as a contribution to the national interest in par with its new strategic academic plan as included in the university corporate plan. In decades ahead of where higher education will play an especially important role in the globalized world, it is necessary to expose students to the new fields of education and train and equip them with specialized knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the new challenges and meet with new demands. The new vision of Sri Lankan education is to flourish as the hub of education in Asia as it is aware that the development and globalization of Sri Lanka is largely dependent on its new educational programmes and workforce prepared to meet the new challenges and demands.
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