Yes. But these two additional years will equip you with skills that will better prepare you for the future, whether it be; Kolehiyo, Trabaho or Negosyo!
Duke Kunshan University announced today that it has received applications from over 80 countries and regions for its inaugural undergraduate program.
Applicants from China and the US make up the majority of total applications. In addition, Duke Kunshan’s undergraduate program has generated interest from countries in all corners of the world, with applications coming in from Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India, South Africa, Egypt, Russia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Serbia and many more.
Duke Kunshan University now offers master’s degree programs in management studies, global health, medical physics and environmental policy, as well as a Global Learning Semester program for undergraduates from partner universities. In August 2018, Duke Kunshan will welcome its very first cohort of students for the undergraduate class of 2022.
The inaugural class is expected to comprise of at least 50 students from outside of the Chinese mainland.
Upon graduation from Duke Kunshan, students will receive a US degree from Duke University and join Duke’s global alumni network of more than 170,000 members. Graduates will also receive a Chinese degree from Duke Kunshan University, opening doors for career opportunities in China.
Denis Simon, executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan University said, “These young people will learn new languages, experience different cultures, and meet people that think very differently from themselves. They will also live and have experiences in the two largest economies in the world, while becoming part of the passionate and highly connected Duke Alumni network,” added Simon. “In four years, our students will leave Duke Kunshan with the ability to not only find good jobs, but also to define and create the most cutting-edge jobs of the 21st century.”
Duke Kunshan’s undergraduate education programs will draw from liberal arts tradition, with students declaring their majors before the end of their second year. Before this, students choose courses from a number of disciplines in order to explore and develop their personal academic interests.
Students can choose from a wide variety of curricula, have access to an assortment of field trips, and have opportunities to take part in meaningful internships. Finally, their signature work project will allow students to delve deeply into specialized knowledge through research and an analysis of their findings.
Students at Duke Kunshan University will also get the opportunity to observe and participate in scientific research taking place, taking part in specialized projects undertaken by professors and researchers at the institution. The university has established multiple international research centers that will be open to undergraduates, including centers dedicated to Applied Science and Engineering, Global Health, Environmental Research, Computer Imaging and Data Science.
New technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing are changing the economic landscape, innovation is developing at an accelerated pace, and globalization continues to lower the hurdles to greater intergration and collaboration. Yet, how much have our education models changed in response to these broader developments?
Face with an opportunity to make a fundamental statement about the future of higeher education, Duke University, in collaboration with Wuhan Unviersity and the city of Kunshan in China decided to join forces to form a new education joint venture that promises to alter the higher education landscape in China. Committed to offering an advanced highly interdisciplinary, integrated liberal arts curriculum, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) will launch its new undergraduate degree program in January 2018.
Preparing global citizens
The goal is to take the best from East and West in an effort to prepare the next genration of global citizens who are willing and capable of taking on the most pressing national and international challenges of the 21st century. Our aspiration is toeducate students who will define and create the news jobs of the future rahter than simply taking the jobs that currently exist.
To accomplish these goals, we commissioned a dedicated group of 15-15 seasoned faculty members who spent over 2.5 years researching and analysing trends and developments regarding liberal arts education on a worldwide level, including reviewing efforts to bring liberal arts type education into China's higher education system. The effort resulted in the creation of a highly innovative, modular undergraduate curriculum that provides students with multiple pathways for self-discovery and personal development.
What do you think - and why?"
Classes will be conducted in four 7-week modules -- a response to the compressed learning style of millennials. Students will enter an education environment that is "high touch" in terms of the studen-faculty ration and is driven by a very simple but provocative question: "what do you think and why?"
Students will be ables to cultivate and hone their critical thinking skills while gaining invaluable experience and insight into the world's two largest economies, allowing for a more global mindset.
The hallmakr features of the new curriculum are reflected in several of the core philosophical underpinnings that drive the student learning experience. Simply stated, this is the idea that all students must increase their level of globabl understanding and awareness, and yet at the same time develop significant appreciation for their national or local cultural roots and history.
Graduates for a globalized world
Irrespective of their choice of major, graduates will possess a deep sense of their place in the world and the responsibilities they carry with them foor leading a purposeful life. Our objectivies is to produce graduates who possess the necessary skills and knowledge to live and work effectively and ethically in a highly globalized world.
Commen by DR DENIS SIMON, Executive Vice Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University
From the perspective of Western media, the end of the 20th century marked the beginning of the gradual decline of American economic and technological dominance. The world would usher in the so-called “Pacific century.” Although many well-informed European and American observers discounted such projections, pointing out that U.S. leadership in areas such as research and development, innovation and higher education was almost insurmountable; today, the rise of Asia seems ever more likely.
This is particularly true in the case of China. With more than U.S. $3 trillion in forex reserves, China has become the world’s second largest spender on research, surpassing both Europe and Japan. Furthermore, China is on its way to becoming an educational powerhouse that offers increasingly attractive opportunities for prospective undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a university education.
In 2018, 8 million students will receive undergraduate degrees from Chinese universities. This represents 10 times the size of the graduation volume in 1997. With 2,880 universities and more than 37 million students enrolled, China is on a path to becoming a higher educational juggernaut whose universities offer an attractive alternative to some of the highly traditional, highly branded and highly ranked universities in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere.
China is also well on its way to reaching its goal of enrolling 500,000 international students, with 442,733 international students matriculating across various Chinese universities (including a growing number of private universities) in the past year. With more Chinese Ph.D.s deciding to return to China after completing their studies and research post-docs in the United States and Europe, a new stock of bilingual, high-caliber faculty are beginning to fill the ranks of high-end talent inside Chinese think tanks, research institutes and universities. The impact of this reverse brain drain should not be underestimated, as many top Chinese universities have become pro-active headhunters, visiting major campuses in the U.S. and Europe as a way to attract Chinese people to return home to join the restoration of Chinese knowledge and leadership on a global scale.
Along with the growing volume of domestic and international students attending Chinese universities, there has also been a pronounced increase in government spending on higher education. In 2016, China’s Ministry of Education and its local provincial counterparts had a budget for universities that reached more than RMB 1 trillion, an increase of 6.22 percent from 2015. The new campaign to promote academic quality, called “the New Double World Plan,” builds on both the highly aggressive 985 program and the 211 higher education initiative that were designed to push Chinese universities into ranks of world class universities.
This New Double plan aims to focus resources and attention on 137 universities, 42 of which intend to become world-class institutions and 95 of which will have world-class disciplines. As things now stand after the 19th Party Congress, there is little doubt that the Chinese economy has the financial capability to support such broad-based initiatives; the only question will be the pace of implementation and the extent to which politics are left on the sidelines as efforts are launched to improve academic quality, reform curriculum and internationalize campuses. The willingness of the PRC government to open up the educational sector and allow 10 joint venture universities from across the globe to establish full-fledged degree granting campuses in China is yet another sign of China’s commitment to promote world-class academic institutions within its borders.
The combined efforts to advance, reform and internationalize the Chinese higher education system suggest that it maybe time for international students from the U.S., Canada, Europe and other parts of the globe to seriously consider attending Chinese universities. With rising tuitions across U.S. public and private institutions, the value proposition offered by PRC-based institutions cannot be ignored. Of course, going to college in China is not for everyone, but for those students seeking to enter the next educational frontier and study in an environment that increasingly seems less resource constrained, the Chinese option must be considered. This is especially true regarding the opportunities at joint venture institutions like Duke Kunshan University (DKU), which offers a fully accredited American degree from Duke University and a local DKU degree officially approved by China’s Ministry of Education.
The high-touch learning environment at Duke Kunshan is built around a state-of-the-art liberal arts curriculum that offers students a chance to take advantage of the historically rich, economically dynamic location in China and a Western-style learning environment. With a truly multinational student body and world-class, high caliber global faculty, institutions like Duke Kunshan offer graduates a chance to find local internships and launch their careers in one of the most dynamic economies in the world.
Most importantly, the willingness of Chinese authorities to open up the education sector to joint venture projects with foreign partners from the U.S., U.K., Russia, Israel, Holland as well as Hong Kong manifests the fact that PRC leaders are committed to changing the trajectory of the Chinese higher education system. In this way, universities can take advantage of the advanced pedagogies and educational technologies that have become essential parts of the 21stt century learning experience.
The growth of liberal arts programs and research capabilities beyond these joint venture institutions further underscores the fact that one can receive an excellent education in China and at the same time be positioned at the cutting edge of innovation across the new shared, highly connected internet-driven environment that defines the PRC economy today. Investing $9 billion in artificial intelligence and making major contributions in other fields such as electric vehicle transportation infrastructure, China promises to be at the cutting edge of the technological revolutions that will shape the workplace and lifestyles of the coming decades.
As to be expected, not every Chinese academic institution is experiencing the type of dramatic changes going on in places such as Peking University and Tsinghua University. However, study options and internationally trained faculty can be found among the top 10 to 15 universities in China (as ranked by the Academic Ranking of World Universities). If students and their parents simply pay attention to traditional academic rankings, they may never stumble upon any of these PRC universities because they don’t yet appear in the top 25 among the World University Rankings for 2017. This is why rankings should never be the sole factor used to make a college decision.
For the adventurous student who is future-oriented and willing to think outside the box, a university education in China may provide a chance to break the mold and carve out a very international career path that has a strong connection with China at its core. The chance to acquire Chinese language skills makes this opportunity even more attractive. There is no doubt that committing to this type of education will lead to excellent outcomes for participating students, as the rise of the Chinese economy and technological advances are guaranteed to be center stage on the roadmap that will define the 21st century and beyond.
By Denis Simon, Executive Vice Chancellor, Duke Kunshan University
There is no better way to learn a new language, experience different cultures, and meet people that think very differently from you than by studying abroad. Doing so in Asia should be given serious consideration.
It is the largest and fastest growing continent in the world. Combined with beautiful landscapes, compelling cities and diverse cultural relics, huge opportunities await students who have an adventurous spirit and open mind. Perhaps the best news is that by studying in Asia, one will be well-positioned to join the workforce among the world’s most dynamic economies. Good opportunities and interesting internships exist throughout the region. With its rapidly improving research systems and vast pool of high caliber talent, Asia will likely be at the forefront of defining the new and most innovative jobs of the 21st century.
More students are looking to Asia
In the past, many families would send their children to be educated in America or Europe, believing that the world’s best universities could only be found in those countries. Now, however, we are witnessing more and more students from the United States, Canada and Europe applying to study in Asia.
There are top universities in established education hubs like Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, alongside the ever-increasing academic and research might of mainland China. Students also may find good options available in South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and India.
With that in mind, the question now becomes how to choose the right school, given the increasing opportunities available. Here is my advice, based on my three decades of experience both as a university administrator and someone who studied extensively both in Asia and the U.S.
Rankings are important -- but not the only thing
Overall rankings of schools is of course important -- you want to ensure you go to a school with a good reputation. The U.S. News & World Report, the Times Higher Education and QS all offer interesting insights into the respective strengths of different schools. However, rankings should never be the sole factor used to make a college decision.
For example, among the top 10-15 universities in mainland China -- as ranked by the Academic Ranking of World Universities -- one can find options that offer a very strong curriculum and have faculty who have been educated in some of the world’s top-notch academic institutions, such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University or joint-venture institutions like NYU Shanghai. If a student and their parents simply pay attention to traditional academic rankings, they may never stumble upon any of these PRC universities because they don’t yet appear in the top 25 among the World University Rankings for 2017.
Typically, I advise students and parents to pay attention to the ranking of particular programs of interest. However, for students that are not sure about which majors they want to pursue (which is not atypical among 17 or 18-year olds), I would advise them to seek out a strong liberal arts and sciences education where they can explore a wide variety of academic options before deciding on a major. This creates a more personal and dynamic four-year study program that more accurately matches your skills, interests and career goals.
Moreover, in these programs they even may be able to design and create their own majors because of the curricula flexibility that exists.
Make sure it feels right
School location and culture also are important -- you will spend probably the most important four years of your life in this place -- so you want to be sure you are attracted to the culture of the school, the city and the country you'll be staying at. (Don’t discount the food either.)
You should visit the school in person. If that isn't possible, go to the school’s website for a virtual tour to find out if the school “feels” right to you.
Choosing a college or university is one of life's biggest decisions and everything should be fully-calculated. Looking back at my own school or life decisions, the best ones I’ve made have been always the result of simply following my heart. After all, going to college is essentially about finding yourself. It’s a journey for self discovery, not a final destination.
Written by Dr. Denis Simon
Dr. Simon is executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan University.
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