Tibet’s Political Status Led To Tibetology Shut Down?

Last week, the Tibetology or Tibet Studies Department of the University of Copenhagen was shut down leaving the associate professor Jan-Ulrich Sobisch jobless and 12 students associated with the department deprived of the opportunity.

According to the university post, when the department was defunded by the Danish government, the university decided to dismiss the department. This decision was an anticipated one as the department had been under pressure of its existence for a long time now.

“What we are going to miss here is scholars and meditators who have studied the conditions of suffering and relief from suffering for 1,200 years. There are few traditions from this time that are still alive in our time, and this, the Tibetan tradition, is one of them,” Jan-Ulrich Sobisch the associate professor of the department explains. Professor received his notification that he was fired 9th February.

Though Denmark has a long association with the Tibetan culture, as the Tibetology was the study of Tibetan society, history, religion, culture and the Tibetan language, it has always been vulnerable. The exact reasons of vulnerability lied in the fact that all these studies were not referable to ‘a country’, or to a country that Denmark trades with.

As many have drawn critic against the University citing funding problems for the closure of Tibetology, many people have thrashed the University and Danish government with remarks as “Shame on You Denmark”, “Serving China’s interest” etc because by shutting down the department, it would only save 1.5 jobs while 12 students who are involved in Tibet studies will be hit.

Yeshi Paljor

Editor at Tibetan Journal, Yeshi Paljor is a computer engineer by profession.

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