Leaders from 20 top high schools attend DKU education summit

Duke Kunshan University welcomed representatives of 20 leading high schools from across Jiangsu province to its campus for an education summit held in collaboration with local officials.

Organized by the Jiangsu Education Department (JED), Kunshan High School and DKU, the event brought together educationalists to discuss innovations in learning and to share best practices.

The 20 invited schools have all been designated as model education providers, or “high-quality demonstration high schools”. They were the first to be awarded the status as part of an initiative to drive improvements across the Jiangsu education system.

Through a series of talks, discussions and tours, the gathering on Jan. 19 gave the schools an opportunity to learn more about DKU and its unique approach to higher education.

DKU Chancellor Yaolin Liu extended a warm welcome to the attendees and introduced them to the university and what it strives to achieve.

“At Duke Kunshan, students from over 60 countries engage in collaborative learning within a diverse and innovative international environment,” he said.

“They actively participate in scientific research from the early stages of their undergraduate studies, showcasing a notable spirit of innovation and proficiency in problem-solving and cross-cultural cooperation.

“Two cohorts of undergraduate students have graduated and attained impressive achievements in further education and employment.”

JED Deputy Director Yuehua Gu described DKU as a model for university development and a testament to the country’s achievements in international-oriented education.

Ming Zhou, president of the Jiangsu Agency for Educational Evaluation (JAEE), said that inviting the secretaries and principals to DKU and Kunshan for this meeting will help fuel innovation when developing talent in their schools.

Also attending the meeting were: Chunming Gu, division director of the elementary education division of the JED; Genlin Shi, vice president of the JAEE; Zhao Chen, deputy mayor of Kunshan; Yang Wang, director of the Kunshan Municipal Education Bureau; and John Quelch, executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan.

DKU was founded in 2013 as a Sino-U.S. joint-venture partnership between Duke University, Wuhan University and the Kunshan Municipal Government. Experiencing rapid growth over the past decade, DKU has developed an innovative model for developing the next generation of leaders to meet society’s needs.

With an undergraduate program rooted in the liberal arts and sciences pedagogy and interdisciplinary approaches to graduate education, DKU’s hallmarks include small-class teaching, student-faculty collaborative research and overseas learning experiences.

The meeting was presided over by Hongtao Cai, the vice chancellor for government affairs at Duke Kunshan. Senior staff at the university provided a comprehensive overview of the DKU educational system and its philosophy.

Those addressing the summit included Hanguo Li, dean of China Enrollment Management; Haiyan Zhou, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning; Liqi Ren, associate director of innovation and entrepreneurship; He Liu, director of Career Services, and Christopher Van Velzer; interim dean of Student Affairs. Undergraduate representative Huiyuan Zhou also shared his learning experience at the university.

Quelch, the executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan, told guests he hoped the visit would deepen their understanding of DKU.

“I visited China for the first time in 1981. Over the next 42 years, I have returned many times, witnessing its remarkable development through the determination of the Chinese people to raise education standards,” he said.

“Duke Kunshan University is dedicated to driving innovation in Chinese higher education, prioritizing students and their development. As a young university, we have already achieved remarkable things.”

The pioneering system in Jiangsu of awarding high schools “high quality” status is a major initiative to drive improvements across the sector.

The JED announced its first round of designations for schools in 2019. Those 20 schools are: the High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing Jinling High School, Xishan Senior High School, Tianyi High School, Nanjing Senior High School, Xuzhou No.1 Middle School, Changzhou Senior High School, Qianhuang Senior Middle School, Suzhou High School, Liangfeng Senior High School, Nantong High School, Haian Senior High School, Haimen Middle School, Xin Hai Senior High School, Huaiyin High School, Yancheng High School, Yangzhou High School, Danyang Senior High School, and Taizhou High School.

You can find out more about DKU’s educational model at https://www.dukekunshan.edu.cn/.

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Media Contact

Senior Editor/Writer

Gareth McPherson

Email: gareth.mcpherson@dukekunshan.edu.cn

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