DKU welcomes first members of the Class of 2025 | Duke Kunshan University

DKU welcomes first members of the Class of 2025

December 21, 2020

By DKU Staff

Duke Kunshan has admitted the first members in the Class of 2025 after seeing a 25 percent year-on-year increase in early decision applications from international students, the Office of International Enrollment Management has announced.

On Dec. 18, the university admitted 32 students who made early decision applications, indicating that Duke Kunshan is their first choice and that they commit to enroll at the university if admitted. Applicants this year come from 21 countries and include the undergraduate program’s first admits from Ecuador, Israel, Tajikistan, Uganda and Venezuela.

“We’re so glad to be able to welcome these outstanding students into the DKU community in the fall,” said Jessica Sandberg, dean of international enrollment management. “In witnessing such a significant increase in early decision applications this year, we’re pleased to see that despite the uncertainties arising from this global pandemic, the appetite among talented young people for a global education and overseas study has not dampened.”

The new students will join other outstanding admits from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and across the world next fall.

International students make up more than one-fourth of DKU’s first three undergraduate classes and come from more than 50 countries across six continents.

“As our world becomes increasingly dependent on constructive cooperation across peoples and nations for achieving technological and scientific advancement, broader economic inclusion, environmental sustainability and peace, higher education must play a central role in developing leaders who are resolved to bridge the differences that divide the globe,” said Al Bloom, executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan.

“It’s not surprising, and in fact it’s deeply encouraging, that top students in greater numbers from around the globe choose DKU, for the university not only prepares them superbly for their careers but also to connect across humanity,” he added.


Hear from members of our incoming Class of 2025

Shiba Amutuhaire Kalpakovic of Kampala, Uganda, said searching for a university that would spark her imagination and make her an extraordinary individual had been hard until she learned about DKU. “It’s a surreal feeling. I believe China is going to unlock so much potential in me,” said Kalpakovic, who has won multiple public speaking awards, including from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and has taken part in Yale University programs targeting young global scholars.

Annie Zhu, a Canadian citizen who has been studying at Yew Chung International School, Shanghai, realized DKU was her “dream school” after paying a visit to campus. “As I’m a curious student who likes to raise questions in class, the small class setting allows me to have close and effective interactions with professors and classmates. Moreover, the diverse environment fits perfectly with my identity as a bicultural international student,” she said. “Most importantly, the liberal arts education at DKU provides me with a broader range of areas to study and explore. This creates endless possibilities for me in both academic and personal development.”

Javier Sebastián Portilla Cardona of Quito, Ecuador, said that being part of the unique Sino-American fusion at DKU was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “I’m thrilled,” he said. “China’s rich and diverse culture has always attracted me. It’s an enthralling country with megacities and rural towns, and I’m excited to explore China’s different facets.”

Faith Ho of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a passionate ambassador for Peranakan culture and a talented vocalist who has performed for Malaysian royalty. She said she took part in virtual information sessions and campus tours, and talked with students and faculty members to learn more about DKU. “Their open-minded, adventurous and welcoming spirit made me feel right at home,” she said.

Martina Gaddi of Rome, Italy, who has been studying in Shanghai as an exchange student, feels the university matches perfectly with her ambitions. “When I visited DKU and found out how multicultural and inclusive the community is, I immediately felt the need to be part of it. I know that at DKU I can realize all my big dreams,” she said. “I already see myself becoming friends with people from all around the world while discovering China every day.”

Mingma Lucky Sherpa of Kathmandu, Nepal, said DKU’s curriculum, location, small class sizes and the opportunities it creates make it her ideal university. “The very idea of a liberal arts and sciences education in China is what made DKU stand out,” she said. “I've been telling myself to expect not only amazing Chinese food and good experiences but also challenges and differences with an open perspective.”

Renzo Rodrigo Balcázar Tapia of Lima, Peru, a student with a passion for mathematics and athletics, said he was attracted by DKU’s “unique vision” and is excited to “meet amazing people and achieve great things.”

Hang Luong of Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, said DKU’s innovative, interdisciplinary education and focus on rooted globalism will allow her to “spread her wings,” while its culturally diverse setting will help her develop a comprehensive, global mindset. “I am nervous [but] also very excited to live and study in such a wonderful and culturally rich country as China. This is an astonishing opportunity for me,” she said.

Parviz Subkhankulov of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, who has led projects and research on technological innovation at high school, said he is looking forward to working alongside leading figures in artificial intelligence and machine learning at DKU.

Katya Moreno Jiménez of Guanajuato, Mexico, said after learning about DKU, she couldn’t wait to apply. “Everyone is so driven to achieve the biggest dreams, and everyone wants to achieve it together as a community, as a family, and I want to be part of that,” she said.

Laura Moncada of Carabobo, Venezuela, has taken part in the U.S. State Department’s Youth Ambassador Program and is an honorary citizen of Huntsville, Alabama. She was attracted by DKU’s 21st-century global education and international campus. “I can’t wait to immerse myself in Chinese culture and to learn about my peer’s backgrounds and insights,” she said.

Misheel Dolgortseren of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, said DKU can make her “brightest dreams come true” while she contributes to helping others shine. “I want to feel the diversity but at the same time my own individuality,” she said.