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DGHI approves two programs for DKU

Faculty from Duke Global Health Institute have approved undergraduate and graduate-level global health programs for Duke Kunshan University.

Two new global health programs to be offered at DKU were approved by DGHI faculty Friday, DGHI Deputy Director Randall Kramer said. The three-year pilot programs include undergraduate Global Health study abroad courses and a Master of Science in Global Health. The programs are expected to start Fall 2013, though DKU is slated to open Spring 2013.

“[The programs] expand the repertoire of programs that we have commitments for in China during the early stages of the campus,” Provost Peter Lange said.

This is the second set of DKU programs to gain faculty endorsement. In October, faculty at the Fuqua School of Business approved a Master of Management Studies degree, in which students will spend their Spring term in Kunshan. The Fuqua MMS and the DGHI programs are pending approval by Academic Council.

The undergraduate module—four courses taken in one semester—includes core classes from the global health certificate program offered at Duke, as well as a language course, Kramer said. Duke students can apply the courses toward the global health certificate, and international students receive a certificate for completion of the program. DKU will offer the module once a year.

“The undergraduate program would target Chinese undergraduates who want to spend a semester studying global health and Duke undergraduates and undergraduates from other U.S., European and Asian universities interested in a study abroad opportunity,” Kramer wrote in an email Sunday. “This will provide a diverse student body and a rich global context in which to study global health.”

The master’s program is identical to Duke’s Master of Science in Global Health program. Both involve the same courses and fieldwork requirements, Kramer said. The program targets Chinese and other Asian learners.

“We expect that applicants to the master’s program will include researchers, policymakers, advisers, medical doctors, recent bachelor graduates and students planning to pursue doctoral studies in a global health-related discipline,” Kramer said.

Overall, DGHI anticipates that approximately half the students enrolled in the programs will be from China and half from other countries, Kramer noted. In the first year, DGHI plans to enroll 30 students in the undergraduate program and 20 in the master’s program.

DGHI faculty developed the programs while considering conversations with faculty, administrators and students from numerous Chinese universities. Kramer noted that Duke is already collaborating with Fudan University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Wuhan University—DKU’s legal partner in China.

“We already offer a two-week global health diploma program at Peking University each summer,” Kramer said. “Having a physical location in China at DKU will enable DGHI to further grow those collaborations.”

In 2013, DGHI also plans to establish a Global Health Research Center at DKU, Kramer said. The center will emphasize three thematic areas—chronic disease, health systems and environmental health.

“This will provide a research hub to deepen our existing research collaborations with several Chinese universities,” he said. “The center will support the research activity of DGHI faculty residing in Kunshan as well as faculty visiting from Durham.”

DGHI Director Michael Merson, who also serves as the interim vice president and vice provost for the Office of Global Strategy and Programs, noted the importance of the center for students.

“[The center allows] us the opportunity to expand our efforts to provide education in global health to students from China and other countries around the world, consistent with our [DGHI]’s mission of educating and training future leaders in our field,” Merson said.

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