The Tibet Buddhist Theological Institute, which aims to promote the study of Tibetan Buddhism, opened in Southwest China\'s Tibet Autonomous Region on Thursday. More than 600 people, including 150 newly-enrolled students as well as Buddhist delegates and government officials, attended a grand opening ceremony held in the regional capital of Lhasa on Thursday morning. The institute, Tibet\'s only regional-level buddhist theological academy, is located in the township of Nyetang, Quxu County, which is administered by Lhasa. Construction started in October 2008 and ended in September. Featuring a distinctive Tibetan architecture style, the institute covers 268 mu (about 17.9 hectares), with a total investment of more than 103 million yuan (about 16.1 million U.S. dollars). The first 150 students include Living Buddhas and monks from various Tibetan Buddhist sects. The institute provides three programs. Two programs focus on studies of Exoteric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism, respectively, while the other is tailored to Living Buddhas. All students are required to attend classes on Buddhist, cultural and legal studies. The lengths of the programs range from two to four years.