China's Ministry of Education has granted preliminary approval for the creation of Duke Kunshan University (DKU), a joint venture university formed in partnership with Wuhan University and the city of Kunshan, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead announced Thursday.
DKU, which has been in development since 2010, will be "a center for innovative teaching and research, based on the principles and values that have made American research universities the model for the world," Brodhead said.
Noting the benefits DKU is expected to yield for Duke, Brodhead said, "Through DKU, Duke will play a leadership role in creating new models of world-class higher education in China, introducing students and faculty to Duke's signature strengths of liberal arts education and the interdisciplinary study of contemporary problems. DKU will supply a base for the growing number of research projects by Duke faculty that require a Chinese presence and will create a platform for international collaborations."
The DKU campus is currently under construction in Kunshan, China, a rapidly expanding city located between Shanghai and Suzhou. The university's six-building, state-of-the-art academic village will offer more than 750,000 square feet of classrooms, student and faculty housing, research facilities, dining and recreation spaces and an executive conference center.
DKU is expected to begin operations during the 2013-2014 academic year, pending final approval from the Chinese Ministry of Education. Two graduate programs leading to Duke University degrees have already been developed for initial delivery at the DKU campus: a Master of Management Studies and a Master of Science in Global Health. A one-semester undergraduate program in global health will also be part of the initial academic offerings. DKU will house several research centers, beginning with a Global Health Research Center.
The approval from the Ministry of Education comes as a result of a thorough process which reviewed DKU's proposed academic, financial and administrative programs. The Ministry will need to give final approval before DKU can begin operations.
A message from President Brodhead to the Duke community about DKU can be read here.