Duke Kunshan University attracts largest, most diverse international class

Duke Kunshan University (DKU) in China will welcome its largest, most diverse class this fall after receiving record applications from international students, highlighting the growing interest in DKU’s distinct liberal arts experience.

Almost 180 students from 48 countries have committed to joining DKU’s fourth graduating class. Forty-nine percent are from the U.S., with other countries including Brazil, Canada, Italy, Kazakhstan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Turkey.

Jessica Sandberg, dean of international enrollment management, said, “We’re so excited to welcome these students to DKU, not least for their passion to drive change and redefine norms. The Class of 2025 are inventors, entrepreneurs, achievers, altruists, and change makers.”

DKU, a partnership of Duke University in the U.S. and China’s Wuhan University, received 1,800 international applications in 2021, more than double the number last year, including a significant increase in early decision applicants.

Sandberg said of the surge in interest, “After the lockdowns and other limitations brought by Covid-19, students are increasingly attracted by DKU’s dynamic, global community and our mission to build a post-pandemic world that is more compassionate, cooperative and inclusive. DKU represents a new model for higher education.”

While DKU is hopeful that international students will be able to travel to its campus in Kunshan, China, in the fall, the university has developed contingency plans that utilize online instruction and study away programs.

DKU was one of the world’s first universities to transition to remote instruction in response to Covid-19, launching its strategy in February 2020. DKU will continue to offer online classes to students based overseas as long as necessary to keep them engaged with professors and classmates.

Alternatively, DKU students who cannot travel to China can apply to study at Duke University in North Carolina, U.S. This option was introduced in the last academic year, while DKU welcomed Duke students based in China who wanted access to in-person classes and a range of campus activities.

For incoming students who prefer an in-person academic experience but cannot travel to Kunshan or North Carolina, two programs – DKU Global Opportunities and DKU GO Flexible Learning Experience – allow them to join accredited study away programs around the world.

Sandberg said, “We’ve made every preparation to make sure all our students, no matter where they begin their education, will have a successful and meaningful first-year experience.”

Source: Duke Kunshan University