Potential members of Duke Kunshan University’s inaugural class, which will arrive on the campus this Fall, have a few extra weeks to submit applications.
Despite original due dates in March, DKU administrators extended application deadlines for the undergraduate semester abroad, now due April 1, as well as the medical physics and global health masters programs, now due April 15. Extending the deadline was always a possibility because of the short recruitment season, which began after DKU received the final stamp of approval from the Chinese Ministry of Education last semester, said Nora Bynum, vice provost for DKU and China initiatives.
Although she did not provide a specific number of applicants, Bynum said DKU administrators are pleased so far with the number and quality of applicants. As the application process continues, Bynum said she anticipates more applicants will come from China, and the recruiting season generally picks up after the Lunar New Year, which was in January. The DKU team in China is busy with “roadshows,” recruiting from Chinese universities, she said.
“We have fairly modest enrollment goals,” Bynum said. “I think we will be able to meet those modest goals.”
In the first semester, administrators expect to have 15 to 20 people per graduate program and about 50 undergraduates, though the latter is hard to predict.
Last semester, however, administrators gave a different goal for the undergraduate program. Wyatt Bruton, DKU undergraduate recruiting coordinator, told The Chronicle in November that DKU hoped to enroll 100 students—50 from China and 50 from other countries.
Keith Dear, faculty director of the master's of science in global health at DKU, called the original deadline a “priority deadline,” which was intended to encourage students to apply early. Applicants to the medical physics and global health programs can submit applications after the deadline, as well, according to the DKU website.
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The DKU master of management studies program through the Fuqua School of Business, which starts with a semester in Durham, has a rolling application process that began last Fall.
The medical physics program has so far received six applications—three from China and three from other countries not including the U.S.—said DKU program director of medical physics Fang-Fang Yin, who hopes to receive between 30 and 40 total applications. Recruitment challenges for medical physics include getting information to the students who are potentially interested, as well as making sure these possible applicants have time to take the required exams.
Bynum added that she is particularly pleased with the number, diversity and quality of applicants coming out of Duke.
According to the DKU website, nearly 30 faculty and administrative positions are also open.
“We’re filling [the positions] at a rate that is appropriate,” Bynum said.
Earlier this month, the University announced a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor to fund the scholarships for the undergraduate semester abroad program, as well as creating a Talent Identification Program in China.
The majority of the funds from that gift will go to DKU, said Wendy Kuran, associate vice president for business development for DKU and China. The scholarship will support any student in and outside of China who wants to attend DKU.
The cost of attending DKU was a concern while the school was going through the approval process with the Chinese Ministry of Education because higher education is cheaper in China than it is in the United States.
In its first semester, the undergraduate semester abroad tuition price is $22,900 for American and other non-Chinese students. Tuition will cost undergraduate Chinese students only RMB 24,400—about 4,000 U.S. dollars. Housing is waived for the first semester for all students.
First-semester tuition for the masters programs will cost American and other non-Chinese students around $23,000. The Chinese students will pay RMB 80,000, which is about 13,000 in U.S. dollars.
Although she did not have a specific number, Kuran said DKU is on track to make a $10 million philanthropic goal by 2019. Their main focus, she added, is raising money from people and organizations in China.
“That’s the goal on the books,” she said. “As we are in China and having successes, we will continue to evaluate that.”