The following academic institutions in Beijing are involved with Tibetan studies.
(1) The China Tibetology Research Center (Zhongguo Zangxue Yanjiu Zhongxin 中国藏学研究中心), with director, Dorje Tsetan, and deputy director, Hu Tan, has 120 workers, half of whom are engaged in research and half of whom are administrators, librarians and secretaries. It is China’s main research center on Tibet. Most of the research scholars are Tibetan, although practically all of the senior scholars are Chinese. It is not a college, but occasionally there have been a few North Korean students doing research for a Masters Degree. There is no equivalent center for Mongolian or other minority studies. The center has three divisions:
(1A) The Research Institute of History and Religion (Lishi Zongjiao Yanjiu Suo 历史宗教研究所), with director, Professor Chen Qingying, which has four sections:
(1A1) the History Section, with only Chinese scholars, dealing mostly with the basic Chinese historical materials and approach;
(1A2) the Religion Section, with two scholars dealing with the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions;
(1A3) the Bon Section, with only one scholar; and
(1A4) the Section for Sanskrit and Tibetan Buddhist Texts, with four Chinese and six Tibetan scholars, dealing with documents relating to religion and philosophy.
The other two main divisions are:
(1B) the Research Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (Shehui Wenhua Yanjiu Suo 社会文化研究所), which deals with present-day social and anthropological questions, analyzing the current Tibetan situation. It emphasizes Tibetan language competence.
(1C) The Research Institute of Information and Documents (Tushu Ziliao Guan 图书资料馆), which collects information on the activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in exile. It has a Library and a Research Section for Ancient Documents. The Library has many texts taken from Derge and also many Sanskrit manuscripts taken from the Potala. It may only be used by foreign scholars working on projects in co-operation with the Chinese authorities.
(2) The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Yuan 中国社会科学院) has 50 institutes, of which three are involved with Tibetan studies:
(2A) The Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (Yazhou Taipingyang Yanjiu Suo 亚洲太平洋研究所) has a Center for the Study of South Asian Cultures (Nanya Wenhua Yanjiu Zhongxin 南亚文化研究中心), with director Prof. Huang Xinchuan, and a Division of Religion and Philosophy Research (Zongjiao Zhexue Yanjiu Suo 宗教哲学研究所), with director Zhu Mingzhong. These two divisions have 90 scholars and three post-graduate students, and use Tibetan sources to study Indian Buddhism and Sanskrit.
(2B) The Institute for the Literature of National Minorities (Minzu Wenhua Suo 民族文化所), which has two divisions:
(2B1) the Center for Philosophical Studies (Zhexue Zhongxin 哲学中心), with three Chinese and two Tibetan scholars; and
(2B2) the Center for Gesar Epic Studies (Gesaer Wangchuan Xue Zhongxin 格萨尔王传学中心), with three Tibetan and two Chinese scholars. This Institute has ten students and grants Masters degrees.
(2C) The Institute for National Minorities Studies (Minzu Yanjiu Suo 民族研究所), with a staff of 300, but only ten working on Tibet. It deals primarily with Mongolian and Yuan Dynasty studies and has a large library.
(3) The Central University for National Minorities (Zhongyang Minzu Daxue 中央民族大学), formerly called the Central Institute for National Minorities (Zhongyang Minzu Xueyuan 中央民族学院). This has a Department of Tibetology (Zangxue Xi 藏学系) with 100 students, mostly Tibetans, in four separate classes. It teaches undergraduates Tibetan language, literature and history. The university has an Institute of Tibetology (Zangxue Xueyuan 藏学学院), with fifteen people doing research on Tibet.
(4) The National Minorities Cultural Palace Library (Minzu Wenhua Guan 民族文化馆). The Tibetan Division of this library houses the largest collection in Beijing, with many fragile handwritten manuscripts. It is difficult to obtain permission to access the collection.
(5) The National Minorities Publishing House (Minzu Chuban She 民族出版社).
(6) The Center for National Minorities Studies (Minzu Yanjiu Zhongxin 民族研究中心), under the Central Government’s Department of National Minorities. This has no academics. It controls the funding for institutions dealing with non-Tibetan national minorities.
(7) The Higher Level Buddhist College for Tibetan Language (Zangyu Xi Gaoji Foxue Yuan 藏语系高级佛学院), which is the Government Buddhist College started in 1987 by the late Panchen Lama. It is on the grounds of the Western Yellow Temple (Tib.: Nub-kyi lHa-khang ser-po, Chin.: Xihuang Si 西黄寺), the former monastery in Beijing for Tibetans, and residence of the Fifth Dalai Lama and Eighth Panchen Lamas when they visited. It was built in the mid-eighteenth century, and contains the stupa of the Eighth Panchen Lama. There were also an Eastern Yellow Temple (Tib.: Shar-gyi lHa-khang Ser-po, Chin.: Donghuang Si 东黄寺), which housed the former main monastery in Beijing for Mongolians, and a Central Yellow Temple (Tib.: dBus-kyi lHa-khang ser-po, Chin.: Zhonghuang Si 中黄寺), which was the residence in Beijing of the Khalkha Jetsundampa Khutugtu. These latter two have not survived.
The college has four teachers and two classes. The class for ordinary monks has 20 teenage and young adult students, who study primarily Tibetan poetry and composition, Tibetan and Sanskrit grammar, astrology and the tenets of the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions. They used to study Lam-rim chen-mo, but because of objections that there was too much emphasis on the Gelug approach, they now study lam-rims from various traditions and especially the Bodhicaryavatara. There is almost no study of debate now, although previously they did study a little Prajnaparamita, following the Panchen textbooks. At first, the school was for one year, then, two, three and now for four years. A new class is admitted only after the old one has been graduated.
The second class is for tulkus above the age of 40, has 23 students and is only for two years. The tulkus study only tenets and lam-rim, with no grammar, poetry or astrology. They also learn a tiny bit about tantra and the methods for conferring initiations. While the Panchen Lama was alive, the school was able to ignore the government requirement for the study of Leninism. Since his death in 1989, however, both classes must spend a great deal of their time studying Leninism. The college also has an Academic Research Section.
Beijing also has the following Buddhist temples and organizations:
(1) Yonghe Gong 雍和宫 (dGa’-ldan Byin-chags-gling), the Tibeto-Mongolian temple and monastery, with 100 monks, both young and old, eight of whom are from Amdo and the rest from Inner Mongolia. They study Tibetan language, tantric rituals and the Lam-rim chen-mo. They regularly chant the Lama Chopa Guru Puja (Tib. Bla-ma mchod-pa) and the Yamantaka rituals. Although in almost every Tibetan temple there are pictures of the late Panchen Lama, there are no photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, except in the monks’ private quarters. Many Chinese devotees, as well as foreign and domestic tourists come to this temple. The temple was formerly the residence of one of the Manchu emperors and was converted into a temple in the mid-eighteenth century.
(2) Fayuan Si 法源寺, with 100 Han Chinese monks, is the only active Chinese Buddhist monastery in Beijing open to the public for devotions. Many of its religious objects, however, have been moved to the Guangji Si 广济寺, which is closed to the general public. Fayuan Si is situated around the corner from the largest mosque in Beijing.
(3) Guangji Si, with 23 monks of the Pure Land tradition, houses the Chinese Buddhist Association (Zhongguo Fojiao Shehui 中国佛教社会), the official Communist organization of Chinese Buddhists. It publishes the Dharmaghosa Magazine. Most of the great Tibetan and Inner Mongolian Rinpoches are required to be members or officers. This monastery is the one that the government shows to official delegations of visiting foreign Asian Buddhists. It also houses the Chinese Buddhist Cultural Research Bureau (Zhongguo Fojiao Wenhua Yanjiu Suo 中国佛教文化研究所).
(4) Guanghua Si 广化寺, with ten monks, houses the Beijing Municipal Buddhist Association (Beijingshi Fojiao Shehui 北京市佛教社会), which seems to be mostly a symbolic office. This temple, like the previous one, is closed to the general public. In 1993, however, Chesho Rinpoche (Che-shos Rin-po-che) conferred the Yamantaka initiation here.
(5) The Beijing Buddhist Laymen’s Society (Beijing Fojiao Jushilin 北京佛教居士林) has very discreet study and practice of combined Chinese and Tibetan Gelug Buddhism.
(6) Baita Si 白塔寺, formerly called Miaoying Si 妙应寺, contains the huge stupa built by the Nepali architect Anige for Khublai Khan towards the end of the thirteenth century. During the Manchu period, it reportedly had some Manchu monks associated with the imperial court. This monastery is now a museum, with no monks.
(7) The Baita Stupa 白塔 in Beihai Park, with no monastery around it.
(8) Wutai Si 五台寺, a Chinese monastery open as a museum, with no monks.
(9) the Shuxiang (or Baoxiang 宝相) Si 殊像寺 in the Fragrant Hills (Xiangshan 香山), which was the monastery in Beijing for Manchus, but is now reportedly a museum.