Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand




Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University was established by King Chulalongkorn, Rama V the Great, in C.E 1887 (B.E. 2430) for the higher education of Buddhist monks, novices and laypeople, emphasizing Buddhist Studies. Over a thousand years ago, the world's first Buddhist university, the University of Nalanda, was founded in Northern India. Although the University of Nalanda no longer exists, the educational tradition continues, presently, including at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in Thailand.



Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU) was established by His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn the Great in BE 2430/CE 1887. It was located at Wat Mahadhatu, formerly known as “Mahadhatuvidyalaya”. Mahadhatuvidyalaya offered classes of studies for the first time in BE 2432/CE1889

 On September 13, 1896, His Majesty King Chulalongkorn the great, raised the status of Mahathat Witthahayalai to that of a royal college, under the title of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya (Mahachulalongkorn Royal College), aimed at providing Tipitaka studies, and higher education, not only for monks and novices, but also for laypeople.

 On January 9, 1947, the chief abbot of Wat Mahathat, Phra Phimonlatham (Choi Thanadhatta thera), assembled fifty-seven senior monks of the Mahanikaya sect at Somdet’s residence of Wat Mahathat to draft a new curriculum featuring Buddhist studies along university lines, which survives, with modifications, to the present day.

 On July 18, 1947, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya opened a primary school and, two years later, a secondary school. This was followed, in 1950, by the establishment of a faculty of Buddhist Studies at the undergraduate level.

 On May 16, 1969, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya under royal patronage was officially recognized by the Supreme Sangha Council as an educational institution for the Thai Sangha, located at Wat Mahathat.


On June 7, 1978, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya under royal patronage began regional expansion, by establishing a new campus in the Nong Khai province. By now, there are ten Campuses, along with seven Buddhist Colleges, seven Affiliated Institutes, ten Extended Classrooms, and eighteen Academic Service Units.

 On September 27, 1984, the Thai Government issued a royal decree to according Bachelor degrees awarded by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya under royal patronage equal status to those awarded by state universities.

On September 21, 1997, the National Assembly of Thailand enacted a royal Act of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University to the effect that the University should become a legal entity under the supervision of the state.

 On July 9, 1999, the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University executive committee had an audience with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand. His Royal Highness granted to the University the title deeds to approximately thirty-three acres at Lam Sai sub-district, Wang Noi district, Ayutthaya province, that had been donated by Dr. Ratsami and Khun Ying Sompong Wannisson.

On December 13, 1999, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn laid the foundation-stone of the new University main campus at Lam Sai sub-district, Wang Noi district, Ayutthaya province and, during the following year, the construction of the new main campus was initiated by the Rector, Phra Dharmakosajarn (Prayoon Dhammacitto) and the executive committee of the University. At present, due to acquisition of further land, the site consists of some one hundred and twenty-nine acres.

 On February 23, 2001, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University formed affiliation with several institutes, starting the Buddhist Dongguk Chonbob College in South Korea. At present, there are six overseas Affiliated Institutes of the University.

 On October 1, 2008, the University relocated from Wat Mahathat and Wat Si Sudaram to the new main campus at Lam Sai sub-district, Wang Noi district, Ayutthaya province.

 On December 3, 2010, opening ceremony of the University main campus is presided over by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, at Lam Sai sub-district, Wang Noi district, Ayutthaya province.


The leading center of Buddhist education integrating Buddhism with modern sciences for the good of

social and mental development.



Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University has strong intention to be an international center of Buddhist and philosophical education and research. And to produce graduates with Buddhist academic excellence who also have the ability to apply Buddhist knowledge to the sciences, having also respectable conduct, curiosity, spiritual and intellectual leadership, problem-solving abilities, faithfulness and dedication towards Buddhism, self-sacrifice for the good of society, understanding of social changes and with a vision of the potential to further develop themselves.


Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University has four missions:

To produce and develop its graduates with nine desirable characteristics:

M – Morality

A – Awareness

H – Helpfulness

A – Ability

C – Curiosity

H – Hospitality

U – Universality

L – Leadership

A – Aspiration

To conduct research that develops a body of knowledge along with the learning and teaching processes, whilst also emphasizing Tipitaka knowledge through interdisciplinary means and applying that knowledge to solve moral problems in society. It is also important to develop Buddhist academics.

 To promote Buddhism and academic service within society through the improvement of various activities helpful for serving the work of the Sangha. Promoting greater knowledge and understanding will cultivate a deeper sense of moral responsibility in people. By organizing meetings, seminars and conduct training sessions in religion and teacher development for ordained and lay personnel, will help to uphold and propagate Buddhism as well as teaching mind-development.

 To promote and develop learning resources for preserving arts and culture suitable for study, and to raise awareness and pride in Thai tradition and culture which will also serve to support local wisdom as a basis of personal and social development.