Several months after submitting a proposal, Duke has received preliminary approval from the Chinese Ministry of Education to move forward with its new campus in Kunshan, China.
Administrators learned of Duke Kunshan University’s approval earlier this week and received an official letter Thursday, said Provost Peter Lange. DKU still requires final approval from the Ministry of Education, which Lange said should come in time for the campus to open to students in the 2013 academic year.
DKU is required to have Ministry of Education approval before opening up its doors, and getting preliminary approval allows Duke to move forward with academic and administrative planning. Administrators can also start to create specific strategies for recruiting students and faculty, but it is still under discussion whether or not DKU will be able to recruit before receiving final approval.
“We can move ahead more aggressively with planning, with thinking about the exact programs we’re going to put in,” Lange said.
DKU is a joint venture between Duke, the city of Kunshan and Wuhan University. DKU is expected to provide specialized graduate and undergraduate programs to students from around the world at its 200-acre campus, located outside of Shanghai. Two masters programs have already been approved by Duke faculty, a Master of Management Studies through the Fuqua School of Business and a Master of Science in Global Health through the Duke Global Health Institute.
“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,” President Richard Brodhead wrote in an email to the Duke community Thursday.
Duke submitted its initial proposal in June 2011 to the Educational Bureau for Jiangsu Province, where Kunshan is located. The bureau approved the proposal that December, and it was immediately sent to the Chinese Ministry of Education. In January, Brodhead told The Chronicle that it was possible the national approval process would only last a matter of weeks, though it typically takes about six months.