Duke Kunshan University is set to open in a few weeks. The campus near Shanghai will begin with 75 students in three graduate programs.
Just one of Duke Kunshan’s buildings is ready, so the students will be housed in a local hotel. But when it’s finished, the city of Kunshan will have spent about $200 million constructing the campus.
Duke University will rent the campus for free, but will split $80 million in operational costs over the next six years with the city.
Duke Kunshan is a stand-alone university, not a branch campus. Duke’s academic partner, Wuhan University, applied to the Chinese government to open the facility.
When it was first proposed, many Duke faculty expressed concerns over allocating funding to Duke Kunshan, and sought assurances that students and faculty there would not have their academic freedoms hindered.