Duke announced it will submit its application for final approval of Duke Kunshan University to the Chinese Ministry of Education by April 2013, but approval may not be granted for several months after that.
University officials and faculty joined members of the Chinese and U.S. governments and Duke alumni at the site of the new university Dec. 19 to celebrate the Chinese Ministry of Education’s preliminary approval of DKU. Duke received preliminary approval from the MOE last August, and now has to prepare and submit its application for establishment, said Nora Bynum, vice provost for DKU and China initiatives. This step of the process assures the MOE that the new university is ready to open its doors for the 2013-14 school year. Preparation includes the update of several materials in the preparation application submitted earlier in the process.
Bynum noted that it is difficult to predict the timeline of the MOE’s response after the University submits its application in April, but that it “could be as soon as eight months.” She added, however, that it took longer than eight months for the MOE to approve New York University’s campus in Shanghai.
“We will certainly be in constant contact with the Ministry of Education, asking them to process the application as quickly as possible,” she said. “The approval process is not exactly standardized, but there is a precedent,” she said.
Bynum said she believes that holding events such as the celebration in December have had a favorable impact on DKU’s publicity in China, noting that the reaction there has been “very positive.”
“It was very successful event,” Bynum said. “This is, however, one step along the way of the whole development of DKU.”
Speakers at the ceremony included Robert Wang, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, as well as representatives from Duke, Wuhan University and the City of Kunshan.
“DKU is the work of partners who are located half a world apart, but who share two key commitments: a belief in the value of education and a commitment to creating versions of education to meet key needs for our future,” President Richard Brodhead said at the ceremony, according to a press release.