FGS INTERNATIONAL CONSORTION
Starting in 1991, Venerable Master Hsing Yun established the University of the West in the United States, Fo Guang and Nanhua Universities in Taiwan, Nan Tien Institute in Australia. On July 17, 2011, the Presidents of these four universities launched the Fo Guang Shan Four-in-One University Consortium. Dr. Yung Chaur-shin, former Minister of Education of Taiwan and current President of Fo Guang University, was appointed as Chairman and Chief. This set forth Taiwan’s first international collaborative system for universities and a milestone for higher education. In 2014, Guang Ming College in the Philippines became the fifth higher education institution under the Fo Guang Shan Education Council.
Since its inception, the Five-in-One University Consortium has initiated numerous teacher and student exchange programs. Furthermore, students are provided opportunities for cross-enrollment, distance-learning, and postgraduate degrees at partner universities. Through the synergy of the Consortium and the shared resources of Fo Guang Shan branch temples worldwide, students are assisted in reaching their dreams of overseas employment. The Consortium collaborates with Fo Guang Shan’s 300 branch temples and enterprises including BLTV, the Merit Times, the Buddha Museum, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery, Water Drop Teahouse, and other publication enterprises in providing students with job opportunities after graduation.
Having never received any form of formal education, it is the most fervent wish of Venerable Master Hsing Yun that all be provided with the opportunity and access he was denied. With his genuine commitment to fostering places of education, he holds true to his pledge to “impart wisdom to self, bequeath a university to society, confer merits to future generations, and bestow accomplishments to the public.” In addition to the Consortium, Fo Guang Shan’s education institutions also include high schools, junior high schools, elementary schools, kindergarten, and 16 Buddhist colleges across the world.
In his determination to realize his vow of founding Buddhist universities, Venerable Master was inspired by the resolve of founders of ancient schools in China. Thus, he initiated the Million-Member Fund Raising campaign, inviting the public to support the establishment of schools and educational foundations through monthly donations of NT$100.
Other fundraisers include alms-processions, wholesale recycling, charity sales of calligraphy and paintings, and charity concerts. Deeply impressed by these efforts to garner people’s support and concern for education, Yu Yu-hsien, former Head of the Ministry for Education’s Department of Higher Education said, “This is what real education is. This is education for all.”
Venerable Master Hsing Yun founded University of the West (UWest) with a vision of providing a campus where students from the East and West could study their academic disciplines guided by Buddhist wisdom and values. Those values are defined by the concepts of Character, Compassion, and Community in its students, programs, and business practices.
UWest students have many opportunities, inside and outside the classroom, to develop personal values as people of character and to strengthen their compassion. They learn the value of working with others to be successful and make the world a better place.
The missions of UWest are education contextualized by Buddhist wisdom and values as well as facilitating cultural understanding and appreciation between East and West.
UWest advocates holistic education through interdisciplinary learning and service projects seeking to improve local and global communities. UWest graduates practice social responsibility, value diversity, and pursue lifelong learning and spiritual growth.
Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is the first Australian Higher Education Institution established based on Humanistic Values. NTI is registered and accredited in Australia through the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.
NTI’s vision is to support and inspire learning and the pursuit of research and creative practice, providing the local region with a place to share and exchange western and oriental perspectives of culture and arts. NTI contributes to the advancement and integration of knowledge, culture, and ethical understanding.
NTI offers two postgraduate courses, “Applied Buddhist Studies” and “Health and Social Wellbeing.” In 2018, NTI introduced its first Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy to provide a more comprehensive and diversified educational option for the overseas students. Meanwhile, NTI English Language Centre based in Sydney offers courses to help students quickly improve their English Language.
Founded in 2000, Fo Guang University (FGU) is a private higher education institution located in the suburban setting of the medium-sized town of Jiaoxi, Yilan County. Officially accredited and recognized by the Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan), FGU offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study.
Currently, FGU has College of Humanities, College of Social Sciences and Management, College of Creativity and Technology, College of LOHAS Industry, and College of Buddhist Studies. All programs are taught in Chinese Mandarin, with the exception of the MA in Buddhist Studies, which has both Chinese and English tracks. International students are welcome to apply for enrollment. FGU also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students.
Nanhua University (NHU) was founded in 1996 by Venerable Master Hsing Yun and funded through the support of millions of Fo Guang Shan followers. NHU is a member of the FGS Five-in-One University Consortium, the country’s first international university system. Venerable Master Hsing Yun, renowned for his humanistic philosophy and practice, strives to bring about positive social change. The Three Acts of Goodness initiative – Do Good Deeds, Speak Good Words, Think Good Thoughts, is amongst his most important on-campus initiatives. Academic programs and extracurricular activities at NHU center around Life Education, Environmental Sustainability, Intellectual Innovation, and the Three Acts of Goodness.
The government-commissioned National Life Education Center at NHU is a testament to the University’s efforts in promoting Life Education, moral education, and the Three Acts of Goodness. This has led NHU being honoured with the Life Education School with Distinction award for three consecutive years, being named as Three Virtues Campus, and a leading institution in moral education by the Ministry of Education. NHU’s guiding endeavor is to cultivate students to seek knowledge and enjoy learning by experiencing and engaging with different cultures and people. Our efforts in advancing environmental sustainability has led to the University being ranked 83rd in the Green University Worldwide rankings, and 4th overall in Taiwan. For our outstanding contributions toward academia, NHU has been named the Most Influential Private University in Taiwan. We also received the Teaching Excellence Awards from the Ministry of Education for five consecutive years, ranking NHU in the top ten universities that have received this award.
Fo Guang Shan Five-in-One University Consortium
Publisher: Fo Guang Shan Board of Directors