Get to know Duke Kunshan University with Russell Davis, Director of Global Student Recruitment
Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is a Sino-American partnership between Duke University in the U.S and Wuhan University in China. They offer a world-class education in dynamic China, culminating in a degree from Duke University (USA) and a degree from Duke Kunshan University. Their students have the opportunity to study and experience living both in China and in the U.S., developing an enhanced international perspective and gaining greater access to global opportunities.
In 2018, Duke Kunshan University will be launching a new undergraduate degree program! If you want to learn more about it, just keep reading!
On the 28th of November 2017, Russell Davis from DKU hosted a live Q&A session on the Goodwall App where he shared advice about enrolling at Duke Kunshan University and all the different programs offered there. This exclusive Goodwall Q&A session was attended by hundreds of teenagers, students, and global citizens around the world.
Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is in Kunshan, China. Kunshan is just outside of Shanghai. Transportation to the Duke Kunshan campus is easy. It’s about 20 minutes on high-speed train ride, or about an hour drive by car.
Students enrolled in our program usually study in China at Kunshan but also spend time at the Duke University’s campus in Durham, North Carolina – USA. This means that upon graduation, students enrolled in our university will earn a double degree from China and USA.
Well, I can’t exactly speak to what it is like to study in Europe. But I can talk about our university. At DKU, students actually study 2 continents or more. China is one of the most impactful economies in the world right now but it also has some of the biggest issues as it grows to accommodate all their citizens. Issues in global health, the environment, education are relevant examples. Originally, we offer a liberal arts and sciences curriculum and students will ultimately have about 20 different majors to choose from. Students who study with us will have the unique opportunity to get engaged in research that is relevant to their aspirations while having the ability to participate in a community that provides them meaningful impact in ways that are meaningful. In addition, students will also study at Duke University in the US, and will be able to experience another exchange program in a third country. What’s for sure is that students who want to study with us have the opportunity to do it in a truly global environment
At DKU, all courses are taught in English. Non-native Chinese speakers will be required to take two years of Mandarin. The students who choose this option can continue their Mandarin studies if they desire or they can switch to a third language as they progress in their curriculum.
All students will live on campus their first year. For the rest of their studies,, they can move into a university-operated housing either on or close to the official DKU campus.
Before I answer this question, there are a few things you need to know about DKU. No matter the degree you pursue with us, you will have access to a unique learning culture and community. We believe that there are as many key learnings outside the classroom as inside. If students decide to fully engage themselves in the entire DKU experience, we are confident they will grow and consolidate both their hard and soft skills. By soft skills, I mean communication, teamwork, adaptability, cross-cultural skills, and more. All in all, we are looking for students who want to take full advantage of the Duke Kunshan experience. This means young individuals who are eager to share their own experiences, opinions all the while embracing the learnings provided by the unique perspectives of their classmates. If this sounds like you, and you can bring this out in your application, you will be considered as a great candidate for scholarship. Most importantly, all applicants to DKU are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships including scholarships covering the full tuition amount. We also have need-based scholarships. Most important thing to remember here is that we have a substantial scholarship fund as we want to remove any financial obstacles from students we want in our community.
When your application to DKU is being reviewed, our Admissions Committee looks at your entire transcript! Certainly, we want to see that you are well-rounded. However, if you have a particular strength, that’s great too. Don’t worry too much about the Duke Kunshan acceptance rate. At DKU, we will be excited to have you join our community if you are able talk about why you might be particularly good at something, or why you enjoy it!
As I mentioned earlier, students at DKU graduate with a degree from Duke University and Duke Kunshan University. The curriculum was designed by Duke faculty. As a graduate of DKU students are members of both the Duke University Alumni community, with all the rights and privileges of that very passionate and connected network. And are also members of the growing DKU alumni network, which has a significant presence in Asia, which will grow exponentially in the coming years.
DKU’s new undergraduate program is a 4-year liberal arts and sciences degree program. The liberal arts education provides students the chance to explore different careers. We don’t expect students to come into the program knowing exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives. We use a combination of core, foundational, interdisciplinary and specialized courses that allow students to explore subjects, careers including pursuing graduate school or research. We expect most students will declare their major by the end of their second year. In a liberal arts program, typically about half the students graduate and get jobs, the other half pursue graduate level education. Liberal Arts graduates tend to be more successful getting admitted to the elite graduate schools. Thanks to the skills they develop, being surrounded by people who are different from them, studying different subjects, bringing different perspectives, develop a set of skills unlike those students who may, for example, spend their four years in an engineering program surrounded only by other engineers in their hometown.
Apply through the Common Application to DKU. Demonstrate that you are the type of student we are looking for. I talked a lot about that at the start of this session. Demonstrate that you recognize and embrace the unique opportunity to be a member of the inaugural class. Show that you are excited about taking on leadership roles in your freshman year and that you want to leave a legacy by helping shape the future of an elite university in Asia. The AcCom will get excited about you!
Yes, we do offer some engineering courses. Furthermore, students can take engineering courses while at Duke University in the USA.
Future students do have the option to choose and pursue a media and arts major.
We have a political science/political economy major. To know whether it’s right for you, maybe try some summer school courses to get an idea of what it’s like to study political science. For more details on that major, click here.
As I mentioned, students at DKU study on both the DKU campus in China and the Duke campus in Durham, NC. Students earn both a Duke and DKU degree. Both offer liberal arts degrees, though Duke also offers an engineering degree. The DKU community is much smaller. At full capacity, we’ll have 2000 students, no more than 500 per class. So the DKU community is more intimate. Students also get to know faculty outside of the classroom. At DKU, experiential learning is as important as what you learn in the classroom. Students are in class Mon-Thur, and Friday is for working outside the classroom, doing service learning, working in the community, doing research with faculty. Both are great experiences, it just depends on what you are looking for, finding the right fit.
“We want you to explore careers while you explore your passions.”
This Q&A session has been edited and condensed to provide more value to the Goodwall community.