A Case Study of Duke Kunshan University

A Case Study of Duke Kunshan University

Matthew Vollrath (Lipscomb University, USA), Robert A. Lloyd (Bethel College, USA) and Yanxu Liu (Bethel College, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2560-8.ch002

Abstract

This chapter considers Duke University's motivation, approach, and challenges in launching its international branch campus (IBC), Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China. Differing perspectives on the project are presented from the point of view of DKU students, faculty, administrators, and an international education consultant. Taken together and in the context of relevant literature and the information provided in Duke University's primary China planning document, their thoughts and observations offer valuable insight to the ongoing conversation about the role of IBCs in higher education, and coalesce around the importance of an institutional brand rooted in consistent values and a genuine culture of faculty, staff, and student engagement.
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Purpose And Importance Of The Study

The purpose of this study is to discuss the genesis and to explore the implications of the formation of an American and Chinese partnered university. As an emerging economy, China holds significant position in the global market, and continues to grow in prominence in relationships with traditional, Western economies like Europe and the U.S. Extensive research has illuminated this evolution of Chinese economic importance, but a preponderance of this research focuses on the quantitative analysis thereof. This includes the impact on trade relations, FDI, currency exchange, financial markets, industry-specific factor analyses, and so forth. For a summary of these relationships see Prasad (2009), Shlapentokh (2010), and Supadhiloke (2011). Qualitative research on Chinese-American relationships is limited and as noted by Lu and Gatua (2014) can be hindered by communication barriers, cultural practices, and the simple notion that Chinese respondents may not be comfortable or familiar with Western research techniques. In short, the east-meets-west phenomenon needs to be explored with a portfolio of techniques and research inquiries which includes both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. This research project is timely in that it addresses this relationship from the human aspect with a qualitative case study methodology, addressing the inherent gap in the research.

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