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Duke Kunshan University to launch undergrad program in 2018

By China Daily | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-18 21:01

Duke Kunshan University in China's Jiangsu province will welcome the first students in its undergraduate degree program starting August 2018.

The four-year bachelor's degree program is based on liberal arts and sciences, allowing students to explore a variety of subjects and build a broad base of knowledge before selecting a major, the university announced on Thursday.

Designed by faculty from Duke University, a globally renowned university in the United States, and utilizing input from Chinese higher education experts, Duke Kunshan's curriculum develops deep subject matter expertise while integrating coursework from multiple disciplines, ensuring that graduates are well prepared for employment or advanced studies in their chosen field.

Courses will be taught in English and will be primarily conducted in small, discussion-based classes with a ratio of one faculty member to every 10 students.

Undergraduate students will participate in a university community that fosters learning inside and outside the classroom. The Duke Kunshan campus opened in 2014 and features classroom and lab space, housing and dining facilities for students and faculty members, arts and recreation areas, and up-to-date educational technology.

Duke Kunshan students and faculty will come from all over the world, creating an international environment. In addition, students will have the opportunity to study outside of China, either at Duke University in the US or another partner university.

Graduates of the program will receive a bachelor's degree from Duke University as well as one from Duke Kunshan University approved by China's Ministry of Education.

They will join Duke's global network of 170,000 alumni, many of whom are widely recognized for their leadership in business, government, technology, athletic and philanthropic activities.

Duke Kunshan University was founded by Duke University, China's Wuhan University and Kunshan city in 2013 and has offered master's degree programs in business, global health and medical physics, and a Global Learning Semester program for undergraduates since 2014. A new master's program in environmental policy will also begin later this year.

"The undergraduate degree program at Duke Kunshan University will open in 2018 with an innovative curriculum specially designed to educate and challenge students in this unique, global setting," said Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University.

"I look forward to joining my faculty colleagues in the fall of 2018 to take part in teaching the incoming class at Duke Kunshan," said Brodhead, who will finish his Duke presidency in June. Brodhead is also member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an expert in 19th-century American literature.

Duke Kunshan will initially offer eight undergraduate majors, including material science with a focus in physics, and political economy with a focus in political science, designed to equip students for either further study or immediate employment in settings where they will be expected to draw on knowledge from multiple fields in order to succeed.

Additional majors including humanities majors that integrate history, philosophy, literature and others are under development.

"After the successful launch and operation of our master's programs since 2014, we are now fully prepared to offer the undergraduate degree program," said Liu Jingnan, chancellor of Duke Kunshan and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"We are confident of helping students become citizens of rooted globalization who put knowledge and discoveries to use for the good of society."

Denis Simon, executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan and an expert on US-China science and technology relations, said: "As China grows on the international stage, we are delighted to offer a unique international learning experience for students from across the world. Our program is designed to help students not only have greater access to international opportunities, but also define and create new jobs for the 21st century."

President of Wuhan University Dou Xiankang said, "Wuhan University will work closely with partners to help cultivate students who think globally and act firmly, and help build Duke Kunshan University into a world-class university with a top-notch undergraduate program."

Applications for admission will be accepted from August 2017 through the university and Common Application websites. Students with Chinese citizenship are required to take the gaokao, or national college entrance exam, as a replacement for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Further information about the undergraduate degree program is available at undergrad.dukekunshan.edu.cn.

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