Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University

Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University or MCU is one of two public Buddhist universities in Thailand. It is located at Wat Mahathat Yuwarajarangsarit Rajaworamahavihara in Bangkok.

Founder of the University : His Majesty the King Rama V

His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) was born on September 20, 1853 into the royal family of King Mongkut (Rama IV) and Somdej Phrathep Sirindhraboromarajini (Phra-ongchao Rampuiepamarapirom). His original name was Somdej Phrachaolukyather Chaofaa Chulalongkorn. He was the favorite son of King Rama IV and always joined both short and long trips to wherever King Rama IV went. After he grew up, he was efficiently responsible for the given missions throughout his reign.

He was first educated by Kromluang Worasethasuda, who was highly qualified in general knowledge and royal customs and traditions. He studied everything required of him for the Crown Prince i.e. Pali Language taught by Phra Pariyattidhammadhada (Pium) from the Scholar Society. He learnt gun shooting from Phraya Apaisornplerng (Sri), wresting and artistery from Luang Pholyothanuyok (Rung), riding horses from Momchao Singhanart and riding elephants from Krompraya Bamrabporapak. However, King Rama IV himself provided him with the best training in administration, classical Thai traditions and studies, and archaeology.

In 1861, King Rama IV bestowed on him a higher title named “Somdej Phrachaolukyather Chaofaa Chulalongkorn”. He was then taught English by a native English speaking teacher, Mrs. Anna Leonowens, for a full course until he was ordained as a novice.

In 1866, after having disrobed, he was taught by Dr. Chandalay, an American Missionary. Meanwhile, he was more being trained in all general affairs all days and at night in emergency matters so that he could gain hands-on experiences for real cases and problem-solving as some guidelines of decision-making and solutions. For instance, he listened to King Rama IV’s discussion with Senior Ministers like Somdej Chaopraya Borommahasrisuriyawong. From this he learned good governance since childhood. In 1865, King Rama III died and the status of Chaofaa Chulalongkorn was changed to the Crown Prince. This prompted him for the preparation of the Future King. He again was given the higher title, “Kromkhunphinitprachanart” and took control of the Royal Guard Department, the Palace Security Department and the Treasurer Department.

In 1868, after the demise of King Rama IV, all Senior Ministers and Royal noblemen agreed that Chaofaa Chulalongkorn should ascend the Throne. He succeeded to the throne on October 1, 1868 under the title of King Rama V of the Chakri Dynasty. On November 11th, 1868, King Rama V officially ascended the Throne. As he was only 15 years old, he reigned the country under the guidance of the regent, Somdej Chaophraya Borommahasrisuriyawong, the foremost nobleman. He regularly presided over the royal ceremonies and events and also chaired administrative meetings to learn all issues from the regent. His skillful management, appropriate execution, consistency and positive reaction brought him great acceptance, high cooperation, and wholehearted gratitude throughout 42 years of his reign.

In 1873, at the age of 20 years old, he was ordained as a monk for 15 days. So His Majesty the King Rama V was the first king of Rattanakosin Period to become a monk during the reign.

On November 12, 1873, he was again traditionally crowned as King Chulalongkorn and immediately abolished the prostration during the ceremony as it was no longer practical because of the changing society. King Rama V also conferred on Chaophraya Borommaha Srisuriyawong a higher title “Somdej Chaophraya Borommahasrisuriyawong”.
His Majesty the King Rama V reigned the country for 42 years and he was the longest reigning monarch at that time. He passed away on October 23, 1910 at the age of 58.
It is worthy of mentioning that he successfully and peacefully abolished the slavery in 1905 without bloodshed. His Majesty the King Rama V initiated enormous reforms with regard to law, civil organization, education and religion.
He had strong faith in Buddhism and supported education for monks, for the security, prosperity and peace in Siam as seen in his statement “During my reign, I intend to consistently support Buddhism and monks. I want to make some commitments that as long as I live, I will always support Buddhism”.

His Majesty the King Rama V and Buddhist Promotion

In 1873, he became a monk. Moreover, he held the higher ordination ceremony every year which shows his strong faith in Buddhism.

In 1898, he had the Tipitaka revised and printed in Thai Alphabet for 1,000 copies. This is the first printing of the Tipitaka in Thai Alphabet and it is called “The printed Tipitaka edition”. He sponsored this printing for 1,000 chang (old currency) and had them distributed to local Buddhist temples and abroad.

Later in 1902, His Majesty the King Rama V issued the Sangha Administration Act of B.E. 2445 (1902) to systemize the Sangha administration across the country. According to the Act, the Sangha Supreme Council was granted authorities to rule and settle all the disputes and conflicts. The Sangha administration was divided into hierarchical levels: Regional, Provincial, District and Sub-district level respectively. Besides, the Sangha Administration Act shows the King’s vision in equal opportunity for all in education: both laymen and monks. The Act states that abbots and higher-ranking monks are responsible for supporting education. This also synchronizes with the announcement of the formal education for children in up-country in 1898. It requires that education be started at various temples and monks are in charge of the teaching. School textbooks were also printed for monks to teach various subjects and Dhamma.

His Majesty authorized Somdet Phramahasamanachao Kromphrayavajirayanavaroros and Somdet Kromphrayadamrongrajanupharb to manage the formal education in up-country. This clearly shows one of his objectives that he adhered to throughout his reign as shown in his statement “Every royal family including my children and all other citizen will have equal opportunity to study; education is very important and I will try my best to make it most prosper”.
His Majesty the King, in addition, founded the higher educational institutes for the Sangha. Those are “Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya” at Wat Bovornnives Vihara for Dhammayutikanikaya Sect and “Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya “for Mahanikaya Sect.

Both institutes are still in operation and have been continuously propagating Buddhism. His strong faith in Buddhism also shows his utmost interest in building and renovating many temples throughout the country.


Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University has strong intentions to be the international center of Buddhist and philosophical education and research, and to produce graduates with Buddhist academic excellence, abilities to apply Buddhist knowledge into various sciences, respectable conduct, curiosity, spiritual and intellectual leadership, problem-solving abilities, faithfulness and dedication towards Buddhism, self-sacrifice for society, understanding of social changes and visions with the potential to develop themselves.


  • To produce and develop its graduates with nine desirable characteristics:
    – Respectable conduct
    – Curiosity
    – Spiritual and intellectual leadership
    – Problem-solving ability
    – Dedication to Buddhism
    – Self-sacrifice for society
    – Understanding of social changes
    – Visions
    – Potential for self-development
  • To conduct research that develops the body of knowledge along with learning and teaching process emphasizing the development of Tipitaka knowledge through interdisciplinary means, to apply the knowledge to solve the moral problems in society and to develop Buddhist academics.
  • To promote Buddhism and academic service for the society in accordance with the intentions in establishing the university through the improvement of various activities helpful for serving the work of the Sangha producing knowledge and understanding, to cultivate a greater sense of moral responsibility for the people and to organize meetings, seminars and conduct training for religious training and teaching development for ordained and lay personnel with leading characteristics for upholding and propagating Buddhism as well as being a capable teacher for mind-development.
  • To promote and develop learning resources for preserving arts and culture suitable for the studies, to raise awareness and pride in Thainess and to support local wisdom to serve as the basis of development

Faculties / Graduate School

  • Graduate School, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University
  • Faculty of Buddhism
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • International Programme


MCU Thailand

MCU Thailand

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