The College for Higher Tibetan Studies is a branch college under the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics at Dharamsala. Under the guidance and with seed money from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the late Ven. Rev Lobsang Gyatso la selflessly and voluntarily took the task of establishing this institution in 1991. After completion, His Holiness formally inaugurated the institution on the 13th of August 1998.
In 1997, the first batch Bachelor in Tibetan studies program (Thorim Rigney Rabjampa)
was introduced and in keeping with the needs of the Tibetan community, primary and secondary teachers training coursese were also given to this group. Thus in the year 2001, 17th of August, Education minister Mrs. Rinchen Khando la conferred them the of degree ‘Bachelor of Tibetan studies' program as well as their Secondary Teachers Training course. During the function, she announced the new name of this institution : –
‘The College for Higher Tibetan Studies'
and approved it on behalf of the Department of Education, and recognized it as a standard college for imparting Tibetan studies.
On 1st January 2001, Mrs. Rinchen Khando la, (former Education Minister) and Ven. Karma Gelek, (former General Secretary, Department of Religious and Culture) presided over a special function held in this college, to witness the formal signing of an agreement between prestigious Emory University
in Atlanta Georgia USA and the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics regarding an exchange program. The performance of the Emory students in their studies during the exchange period will be recognized as an equivalent to that of Emory University.
College students, faculty and staff
CHTS, Sarah's forward-looking approach to Tibetan expressiveness is reflected in the special qualities of its faculty, and the cosmopolitan variety of the student body. CHTS, Sarah students are not only from Tibet, Ladakh, Lahaul, Kinnaur and from other Tibetan-speaking areas, but also come from Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Mexico, The United States, Australia, Germany, Portugal, Uruguay, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Russia, Britain, Switzerland and Israel.
The college at present imparts education in higher level Tibetan to about 260 students with 14 well qualified teachers and approximately 20 staff members.
Aims and Objectives of the College of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah
The aims of the College at Sarah differ slightly from those of its main branch at Mcleod Ganj, in that they fill the gaps in specific subject areas and training which have not already been met.
The emphasis here is upon Tibetan literature and language; but the college also aims to train its students in personal development, management skills and education. Its curriculum includes modern subjects and innovations in order to keep abreast with developments in an increasingly literate and technological world.
Fundamental education and training adds to the development of the country as a whole and raises the total quality of life for all its citizens.
To summarize, the main aims and objectives of the College at Sarah Institute are as follows:
- To train and prepare students in public service, teaching and administration.
- To cultivate in students a positive self image in relation to their Tibetan heritage and culture thorough a through knowledge and understanding of Tibetan literature and language.
- To create a healthy environment for research and experimentation.
- To prepare students for a vocation which relates to their native culture and interests as well as their personal abilities and interests.
- To provide a social setting which will train students in Tibetan ways of community living.
- To install environmental awareness, much needed in an increasingly developed world.
- To provide an environment which is supportive in the development of student's personalities and creativity.
The college fosters a combination of personal development and community values helping to produce individuals with positive ethical outlooks. The students are given a background in Tibetan Buddhist traditions and are encouraged to uphold and maintain the belief that one day freedom will be restored to their homeland, free from the oppressive and destructive nature of Chinese rule.