Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom is a way of learning that aims to empower you to make a positive difference in the world by developing your innate capacity to be kind and wise.


It was developed by Lama Yeshe, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, who believed that:

  • We each have an innate capacity for compassion and wisdom
  • We can develop this capacity throughout our life
  • By developing this capacity in ourselves it can have a wider impact on family, community and society, and globally.

Lama Yeshe’s view was that modern education over emphasises grades and results and fails to enable children to develop their potential and grow into adults able to lead a fulfilled meaningful life.

Lama Yeshe’s proposal was to draw on the ‘heritage of wisdom‘ that resides in the great religious and philosophical traditions of the world to create a new kind of Universal Education that:

  • Takes a holistic approach to curriculum
  • Reunites science and spirituality
  • Emphasises the central role and importance of the teacher
  • Promotes critical enquiry and direct experience
  • Explores the interdependent nature of all existence
  • Develops a sense of universal responsibility
  • Cultivates a deep understanding of our mind and its functions
  • Aims to develop fully our innate human potential for compassion and wisdom

Following Lama Yeshe’s death in 1984, this vision has been guided by his close student, Lama Zopa.

The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom also takes its inspiration from The Dalai Lama (Patron of FDCW), one of the world’s leading advocates for bringing about a better world through the promotion of positive human values in education.

How we teach

Mindfulness practice is central to all Universal Education programmes: unless each person can develop the ability to focus attention and observe what is actually happening in their mind, it is extremely difficult to bring about any deep-rooted and long-lasting change.
Other methods include:

  • drama and games
  • multi-media activities
  • cognitive techniques exploring how we assign meaning
  • use of a personal journal
  • discussion and debate