University Funding: An Unquenched Thirst for Education

Higher education makes social mobility possible for young Tibetans. ROKPA particularly supports students of medicine and the Tibetan language to counteract the shortage of doctors and teachers in the Tibetan regions of China.

Our aid organisation funds the university education of former ROKPA schoolchildren but also accepts new candidates. The aim is for as many young Tibetans as possible to attain the highest qualifications so that they can work professionally in their careers.

There is still a great shortage of qualified Tibetan teachers for all school years, in particular in the very remote mountain regions. The same applies to well-trained doctors of Tibetan medicine. Supporting students in these subjects not only benefits individuals and their families but also covers the whole area beyond.

Tsering Donkar, student at Khampa University

Tsering Donkar attends Khampa University. She has only one parent, as her father died when she was four. Her mother provides for herself and the two younger brothers by growing barley and beans, which she sells in the market. The family income is 2,000 Yuan (around 300 Swiss francs, US $ 325) per year.

Tsering graduated from college with very good results.  She has won many prizes for her Tibetan essays. After she has finished her studies, she would like to work as a Tibetan teacher.

During our visit she told us about her family: "When I was three, my father started getting very bad abdominal pains. He was in the hospital for nearly a year until he died." At the time, the family had to borrow more than 50,000 Yuan (CHF 7,500, US $ 8,100) to pay for his stay in hospital. The family has sold nearly everything they owned to pay off the debts. Now both brothers go to school and that costs a lot of money. "So my family has a very difficult life."

Tsering Donkar would not have been able to go to university without ROKPA's help. When Tsering Donkar earns a wage in future, she would like to help other people with her recently acquired knowledge.