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Record year for international undergraduate applications to DKU

Duke Kunshan University has received a record-breaking 4,705 international applications to its undergraduate program this year, a 41 percent increase on the previous high set in 2023.

The young scholars bidding to join the Class of 2028’s international cohort come from 123 countries spanning every populated continent.

About half of the applicants are from the United States. Other countries represented include Argentina, Germany, India, Jordan, Nigeria and Thailand.

Those selected for the 150-strong international contingent will take their place this fall in Duke Kunshan’s seventh undergraduate class alongside their Chinese peers, who have until Feb. 4 to submit their applications. The class is expected to number over 450 students.

This year’s international applications total represents the sixth consecutive rise since the launch of the DKU undergraduate program in 2018, confirming the enduring popularity and relevance of its interdisciplinary, research-inflected approach to education.

“We’re delighted by this year’s remarkable growth in international student applications, a clear reflection of DKU’s rising reputation and the success of our first graduates,” said Dean of International Enrollment Management Jessica Sandberg.

“DKU’s growing appeal is also a reflection of today’s youth and the value they place on innovation, global experiences, and personal connections. Most importantly, the broad geographical diversity in this applicant pool promises to bring a wealth of unique perspectives to our campus this fall.”

Twenty-seven international students have already committed to Duke Kunshan via the early decision process. Successful applicants going through the regular decision round have until May 1 to accept their offer.

Students from the first two DKU undergraduate classes went on to record incredible success, joining some the world’s top universities including as Schwarzman, Rhodes, Yenching and McCall MacBain scholars, and taking up roles with leading employers such as Google, Huawei, McKinsey and Company, Tencent, the World Health Organization and AstraZeneca.

The Class of 2028 will arrive at Duke Kunshan in August to study and live on a state-of-the-art campus that was upgraded last year with a 2 billion yuan (US$ 290 million) expansion.

They will receive degrees from both Duke Kunshan and Duke University after completing the four-year undergraduate program.

Duke Kunshan Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. John Quelch said, “The large number of applications this year reflects the strong reputation that Duke Kunshan has forged over its first decade.

“Students from all over the world are putting their faith in our unique approach to liberal arts and sciences education, a model that places student-faculty research, hands-on learning and problem solving at the heart of the undergraduate experience.

“Applicants only have to look at the achievements and qualities of our students, past and present, to understand the value of a DKU education in preparing them for leadership roles in every walk of life.”

John Quelch

DKU Chancellor Dr. Yaolin Liu said, “This record high is a recognition of the quality of a Duke Kunshan education and the university’s global influence.

“International students enrich our student body and campus culture. Arriving on campus from all over the world, students with different cultural backgrounds will learn and grow together as the Class of 2028 in this diverse, innovative and international environment, deepening mutual understanding and connecting China and the world.

“They will be equipped with the leadership skills to tackle the significant challenges facing the world and advance the well-being of all humankind.”

Yaolin Liu

Founded in 2013 as a partnership between Duke University, Wuhan University and the city of Kunshan, DKU is a highly selective research-oriented Sino-U.S. joint-venture university which prepares students for professional, intellectual and societal leadership roles across the globe.

Find out more about the Class of 2022’s post-graduation destinations here.

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