New Partnerships Expand Duke's Presence in China

Duke and the city of Kunshan have partnered to build a campus scheduled to be completed in 2011.

Architectural photos of the planned campus in Kunshan.

Duke University has forged two new cooperative partnerships in China which will significantly increase the university's presence in that country and create new opportunities for education, research and public service.

The partnership agreements were formally announced today (Friday) during Duke President Richard H. Brodhead's trip to China, which culminated in a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a planned Duke University campus in the city of Kunshan. Kunshan, located in the Yangtze River Delta, boasts one of the fastest-growing economies in China.

The Duke-Kunshan campus, a partnership between the university and the municipal government, will include a five-building teaching, research and residential center built by the municipal government.

Duke's Fuqua School of Business will lead the first phase, which will focus on executive MBA and non-degree executive education programs, a pre-experience management training master's degree, training of Ph.D. students and the recruitment of top faculty. Duke's educational partner in this venture is Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of the leading universities in China.


President Brodhead signs the Kunshan agreement. Below, singers Shanghai Opera House Chorus perform at the signing.


The campus, which will eventually encompass 200 acres, will feature classroom and meeting space, faculty offices, conference center space, an incubator building offering wet and dry laboratory space and faculty office space, and lodging for students, faculty and staff.

Construction of the five buildings, designed by the architectural firm Gensler, will begin immediately and is expected to be complete in 2011.

"We look forward to working with the Ministry of Education, the government of Kunshan, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University to support education and business development in this most dynamic region of China," Brodhead said.

"The Duke-Kunshan campus will create great learning opportunities for our students, and represents a new model of international educational collaboration."

Future activity on the Duke-Kunshan campus will include programs from Duke's schools of public policy and environment, and its global health institute, among others, as education and research opportunities are developed.

Brodhead, Provost Peter Lange and Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard also formalized an agreement between Fuqua and Shanghai Jiao Tong's Antai College of Economics and Management.

The schools will partner to train Ph.D. students and seek to develop executive MBA and Master of Management Studies programs based in China.

Brodhead and Sheppard also were featured guests at Shanghai Jiao Tong's annual New Year's Forum, where Sheppard delivered the keynote address on the future of financial services in China.

"The world will increasingly rely on university graduates and faculty members who have been trained in global settings," Sheppard said. "It is our true pleasure to enter into partnerships that will help China address its immediate needs for talent development, while also creating unique opportunities to educate future leaders."

Duke already has a significant and historical connection to China. More than 600 Chinese students are currently enrolled at Duke, and the university operates a number of collaborative programs with Chinese institutions in medicine, global health, law and international development.

The new partnerships extend Duke's already significant global activity that ranges from the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, which opened a state-of-the-art campus last year, to more than 300 affiliations with international institutions for education, research and service programs. For a complete list, visit

Below, Kunshan's vice mayor gives a tour to President Brodhead, Dr. R. Sanders Williams and other Duke guests.