The initial conference of the Association of Theravāda Buddhist Universities,
held at
International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University
Yangon & Poppa Mountain Resort, Bagan
from the Ninth to the Eleventh of the Month of March in the Buddhist Year Two Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty and in the Two Thousand and Seventh A.D.
has resolved as follows:


The Association of Theravāda Buddhist Universities (ATBU) is an inclusive global network. It unites the people, knowledge and skills of every Higher Education Institution with a specific mission to educate students to understand and practise the Buddha's Dhamma as presented in the Pāli Canon.

It provides a framework within which Theravāda Buddhist Universities can:

  • better understand each other's policies and activities and be better understood regionally and internationally;
  • collaborate in administration, teaching, research and outreach;
  • recognise each other's qualifications.

It supports its Member institutions and facilitates collaboration and cross-fertilisation between them, so that all can benefit from the richness and variety of the multinational Theravāda tradition. In this way, it will stimulate and focus all our efforts to build on the great Theravāda heritage of higher education so as to promote the Buddha-Sāsana by ensuring that:

  • The brightest and best of each new generation will gain a profound understanding of the Buddha's Dhamma and will be motivated to apply that understanding fully in every area of their lives and work.
  • The quality of scholarly work in Theravāda Buddhist Studies will continue to rise and its importance for other areas of scholarly endeavour will become ever more widely understood.
  • The international Theravāda Buddhist Sangha will make a vital contribution to meeting the challenges that face human society world-wide.



The initial task is to establish a basic operating framework, so that initiatives from the Membership can be formally endorsed and prioritized and this implementation can be supported. To that end, the conference resolves that:

  1. The Association forms an Executive Council composed of persons elected from among the Member-institutions of ATBU which shall work through the Secretariat.
  2. The Chairman should be able to undertake to give a minimum of 2 days a week to this task.
  3. The member of the Council be drawn from no less than half the countries represented in the ATBU.
  4. The Conference resolves to have a secretariat for the Association, independently funded, in a fixed location, with staff from a range of Member-institutions.
  5. Any University that wishes to become a Member of the Association may apply to the Secretary.
  6. The Council makes regulations governing applications and admission to Membership as may be required from time to time.
  7. The Association shall be registered as a charity in a country decided by the Council, which will operate according to the law of the chosen country.
  8. The base of the secretariat should also be selected by the Council.
  9. The Association resolves to take immediate and appropriate action, to raise funds to operate the secretariat.
  10. Member-institutions of the Association shall collaborate in developing their academic offerings and structures with emphasis on the Postgraduate and Undergraduate Programmes in general.
  11. Academic Working Committees are to be formed to support the Executive Council.
  12. That the work and responsibility of the Secretariat be clearly defined.
  13. The ATBU welcomes and supports the effort of the International Organizing Committee for the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations, based at Mahachualalongkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok and led by its Rector, the Most Venerable Professor Dr. Phra Dharmakosajarn, to organize a symposium of World Buddhist universities as a part of the 2550/2007 United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations in May, in Bangkok, Thailand.

To that end, the Conference resolves to establish ATBU as set out in the following Decision:

Decision on the establishment of the ATBU

The Conference hereby decides to establish the ATBU as follows:

  1. The elected Executive Council members shall serve for a period of two years, and shall serve in a personal capacity rather than as representatives of their respective institutions.
  2. The Chairman of the Executive Council undertakes to give a minimum of 2 days a week to this task.
  3. The Council members be nine in number or that specified by the General Meeting of the ATBU, who shall come together biannually, to review progress and formulate policy.
  4. The Secretariat of the Association shall be independently funded, in a fixed location, staff shall be drawn from at least three countries or Member-institutions.
    • a Secretary
    • an Assistant Secretary
    • a Manager
  5. Any University that wishes to become a Member of the Association should apply to the Secretary and provide such evidence that may be required to satisfy the Council.
  6. The three Academic Working Committees shall be formed. These Committees shall be responsible for the:
    • Teachers and Students Exchange
    • Joint Research Project
    • ATBU Information and Publication
  7. On the initiative of the Executive Council, an Executive Secretary shall be selected for the function through the Secretariat to:
    • record the policy adopted by the Member institution
    • facilitate the sharing of experience on policy implementation
  8. The Secretary shall:
    • solicit and record proposals from the Members, particularly from the Academic Working Committees, in respect of themes and topics to be covered in:

      i. annual report

      ii. the next biannual conference

      iii. any special conference that may be arranged

    • co-ordinate and implement any decisions that the Council may take.


  1. It is unanimously decided that there shall be an Annual Membership Fee, as may be specified by the Executive Council, for all the Member-institutions payable to the Association.
  2. The Association be registered in Singapore or any other country that may be decided by the Executive Council as a Charity, and operated under country law.
  3. The Secretariat be based in Bangkok in the vicinity of Mahamakut Buddhist University, which will provide infrastructural and administrative support.
  4. An appeal for the funding of the Secretariat from the public and private sources over 4-years (as per Annex) be made.
  5. To upgrade and collaborate in the academic and administrative structures, under the guidance of the Executive Council, the Executive Secretary shall consult among the members and draw up proposals for collaboration in developing postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in general by collecting and compiling databases.