The inauguration of the Sakya College for Nuns (initially Sakya Nuns Institute) on September 26, 2009, ushered in a new era for Sakya nuns. For the first time, they can engage in higher Buddhist studies at a dedicated facility. The will be able to pursue Buddhist studies for up to 15 years at the Sakya College for Nuns, earning the highest degrees in the Sakya tradition.
As they advance through their training, the nuns will earn a series of degrees. Those completing seven years of study will earn the Kachupa degree, and after two more years will attain the Lopon degree. Those who complete 13 years of study, including an examination and the composition and defense of an original thesis, will be awarded the Rabjampa degree. Finally, those completing a further two years of study in tantra will receive the highest degree of Ngagrampa.
Situated in Manduwala, about 19 km from Dehradun, the Sakya College for Nuns houses 51 nuns. The head of the Sakya College for monks, Khenchen Gyatso, came up with the idea of converting an under-utilized retreat complex into an institution where nuns could study. His Holiness Sakya Trizin welcomed his idea, and Khenchen Gyatso approached the Tibetan Nuns Project in 2006 for assistance. We have agreed to find sponsors for all the nuns and to assist them with teachers’ salaries. The nuns will follow the same curriculum as the Sakya College monks, graduating with an equal degree.