SAN DIEGO — The Dalai Lama says modern education is falling short on its responsibility to teach compassion.

The 81-year-old Buddhist monk spoke Friday to a crowd of about 25,000 at the University of California, San Diego, one day before he is scheduled to give a commencement speech to graduates.

Some Chinese student organizations objected to his visit. Chinese nationals make up roughly 12 percent of the student body.

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla says he invited the Dalai Lama to speak because it was important graduates hear his message.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner says educational institutions should focus more on teaching the value of compassion, tolerance and forgiveness.

China considers the spiritual leader a separatist seeking Tibetan independence. The Dalai Lama says he seeks protection of Tibetan culture.