BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A total of 20 monks on Saturday received the "Tho Ram Pa" degree, one of the highest academic degrees for Tibetan Buddhism at a ceremony at the High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China.
Graduating from the college, the scholars have completed three years of study, before taking exams, defending their dissertations, and undergoing qualification examinations to receive the degree.
Jamyang Losang Jigme Tubdain Qoigyi Nyima, president of the college, presented the monks with their degrees. The ceremony was also attended by representatives from the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Buddhist Association of China.
On Sunday morning, the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu conducted a ritual to bless the scholars.
The "Tho Ram Pa," equal to a college doctorate, was launched in 2004 in a bid to improve the study of Tibetan Buddhism and the training of outstanding monks by incorporating elements of modern education.
So far, 168 Tibetan Buddhists have received the degree.