Four PhD graduates are seen after a graduation ceremony at Tibet University in Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Nov. 10, 2017. Four PhD candidates researching Tibetan history, language or medicine became the first group of holders of doctorates awarded by a Tibetan university. (Xinhua/Chogo)
Four students in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region were granted doctorate degrees Friday, the first batch of doctorate degrees ever awarded by a Tibetan university.
The students majoring in Tibetan history, Tibetan language and literature, high-altitude medicine, attended the graduation ceremony at Tibet University Friday.
Though a "Gexe Lharampa," a title similar to a doctorate in Tibetan Buddhism, was awarded as the highest academic degree to lamas in Tibetan Buddhism studies in Tibet, an academic doctorate in the modern education system was previously absent in the region.
"As one of the first doctorate holders that were indigenously cultivated in Tibet, I appreciate very much the accomplishment of study under the government policy to protect and inherit ethnic culture," said Soinam Cering, 32, one of the graduates.
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Soinam Cering is the son of a farmer in the region's Xigaze area.
When he was young, he loved reading books left by his grandfather, who had received private tutoring and engaged in filing historic archives after the emancipation of Tibet.
Reading a lot of history books, Soinam Cering grew a strong interest in Tibetan history. After graduating from university, he worked in the Xigaze government before enrolling as a Mandarin-Tibetan translation major for a master's degree in Tibet University.
"I had never dreamed of becoming a doctor before 2014," he said, adding that the high cost of being away from home was a major reason he hesitated to apply for a doctor's degree in other cities.
Tibet University was authorized to award doctorates in 2013.
The next year, when Soinam Cering graduated for his master's degree, he was first place in the enrollment exam, becoming the first doctorate student of Cedain Zhaxi, head of the China Tibetology research institute of the university.
Over the past three years, Soinam Cering wrote more than 10 papers.
He was also awarded a scholarship for doctors three times in a row funded by the central and regional government.