There were at least 22 universities according to this -- Ancient Buddhist Universities in India by Dr. Sandesh Wagh, Mumbai University:

  • In contrast to this with the rise of Buddhism in India, there arose many center's of learning which did not exist before.
  • Buddhist monks could opt for a life of meditation in the forests, or a life of teaching, preaching, propagating the Dhamma as a result of these activities, seats of learning arose.
  • These seats of monastic learning (Pirivenas) gradually developed and some of them became fullfledged universities.

22 Major Ancient Buddhist University

  • These organized institutions in the form of Monasteries, Viharas and Universities formed the spinal cord of the country.
  • Well established regular educational institutions were founded during Buddhist period.
  • Gradually big shrines and hermitages began to function as educational institutions.
  • With the passage of time these places assumed the status of institutions imparting primary and higher education.
  1. Takshila Buddhist University
  2. Nalanda Buddhist University
  3. Vallabhi Buddhist University
  4. Vikramshila Buddhist University
  5. Teleadaka Buddhist University
  6. Odantapuri Buddhist University
  7. Sompura Buddhist University
  8. Jaggadala Buddhist University
  9. Phushpagiri Buddhist University
  10. Nagaarjunakonda Buddhist University
  11. Kashmir or Shardha Buddhist University
  12. Ujjain Buddhist University
  13. Nabadwip Buddhist University
  14. Tawang Buddhist University
  15. Shrangiri Buddhist University
  16. Samye Buddhist University
  17. PanditVihara Buddhist University
  18. Gunshila Buddhist Women University
  19. Kashi Buddhist University
  20. Kanchipuram Buddhist University
  21. Kururshetra Buddhist University
  22. Kanheri Rock-cut Buddhist University

However were there any other universities outside India (the Indian subcontinent as we know it now), especially China, Korea, southeast Asia?

There were lot of Scholars who travelled to and from India, do any of their travelogues mention any of these universities?

  • That link does not open for me.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Jan 5, 2022 at 5:01
  • its a large file it takes sometime to load, you can google Ancient-Buddhist-University-in-India- mostly should be on first page, at least in India.
    – 1234567
    Jan 5, 2022 at 6:37
  • 2
    @AndreiVolkov I quoted almost all the text in it, it's formatted like a slide-deck (i.e. PowerPoint presentation) and is mostly 80 photographs of the remains of these places.
    – ChrisW
    Jan 5, 2022 at 8:16
  • I am also interested to know what subjects were taught in these universities , the wikipedia article about vikramshila(An Indian University) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikramashila mentions subjects like philosophy, grammar, metaphysics, Indian logic etc were taught in Vikramshila.
    – 1234567
    Jan 5, 2022 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


There are folklore regarding a massive University like establishment in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka which was later burned down by the invading armies.

In Sri Lanka the Buddhist education was centralized around establishments named Pirivena. The Sunethradevi Pirivena is believed to be more than 600 years old.

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