Thirteen monks obtained the degree of Geshe Lharampa, equivalent to a doctoral degree in modern education, on Sunday in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
A debate activity and the award ceremony were held Sunday in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, the regional capital. Geshe Lharampa is the highest degree in the exoteric teachings of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
With an average age of 45, the 13 monks are from temples in Tibet and southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Ranking first in this year's exam, Tsultrim Gyaltsen, a 50-year-old monk from the Sera Monastery in Lhasa, told Xinhua that he would further deepen his understanding of Buddhism and help more students of Tibetan Buddhism.
Since 2004, 177 Tibetan Buddhist monks have been awarded the degree of Geshe Lharampa.