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UT COUNCIL CONFERS HONORARY DOCTORATE ON HIS HOLINESS TENZIN GYATSO THE XIV DALAI LAMA

In its sitting of 27 May 2005, the UT Council decided to confer 5 honorary doctorates, amongst them also to the spiritual leader and head of state of Tibet, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dalai Lama. Acting on a proposal from the UT Faculty of Philosophy, the Council conferred honorary doctorates on His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, the historian Dr Ants Viires, Professor Emeritus of the University of Turku (Finland) and recipient of the UT Estonian National Identity award Mr Ilmar Talve, and Professor Jürgen von Ungern-Sternberg of the University of Basle (Switzerland). On a proposal from the Faculty of Medicine, the honorary degree was conferred also on Professor Stephen John Proctor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK).
The conferment ceremony will take place on 1 December as part of the anniversary celebrations of the day of the Estonian University.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual and secular leader of Tibet. He was recognised as the 14th Dalai Lama already when he was two years old. The Dalai Lama is an esteemed political figure who has visited more than 50 countries. In addition to the numerous earlier awards, in 1989 he also received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Dalai Lama has written or co-authored around fifty books of which seven have also been published in Estonian.
His Holiness has visited Estonia two times – in 1991 and in 2001. On both occasions, the University of Tartu was among the institutions inviting him. On both occasions, the Dalai Lama gave a public lecture at the University and met with its students. The Dalai Lama has also repeatedly expressed an interest in the research conducted at the UT Centre of Oriental Studies, helping scholars establish research contacts and facilitating the acquisition of research literature.
Dr. Ants Viires is an internationally recognised historian who has played a significant role in training Estonian ethnologists and bringing Estonian ethnological research to the international arena.
Mr Ilmar Talve has long exercised a shaping influence in the cultural life of Estonia both as a writer and a journalist. He is also widely recognised for his work in ethnology. Mr Talve has made an important contribution to intensifying the collaboration between the Estonian and the Finnish ethnologists, making UT Chair of Ethnology the most active international collaboration partner of ethnologists working at the University of Turku.
Dr Jürgen von Ungern-Sternberg, Professor of Ancient History at the University of Basle is an internationally esteemed historian whose collaboration with the UT has included coming to UT as a visiting lecturer, helping UT researchers secure a number of research grants and donating much-needed research literature to the University.
The links established by Professor Stephen John Proctor of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) with the University of Tartu go back to 1991. Professor Proctor has been instrumental in the implementation at the University of Tartu of new diagnostics and modern treatment methods. He has also helped several colleagues from Tartu to find opportunities for advanced training at the University of Newcastle.


Illari Lään
Head, UT Public Relations and Information Office

Additional information: Dr. Ivar-Igor Saarniit, UT Academic Secretary, tel. +372-737-5605