Duke Kunshan and Westlake University forge partnership

By ZHOU WENTING in Shanghai (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated : 2020-10-22


Senior officials from Duke Kunshan University and Westlake University attend the signing ceremony at the latter's campus in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Oct 15. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Duke Kunshan University has formed a strategic partnership with Westlake University, a private research-focused institution in Eastern China, with the aim to foster innovative talent and make greater contributions to social and economic development.

The partnership will see the two universities collaborate in areas of talent development, research, and faculty and student exchanges, according to the agreement signed by DKU chancellor Feng Youmei and Westlake University president Shi Yigong on Oct 15.

The agreement stated that the two schools will leverage their advantages, share high-quality resources, and jointly develop key fields of study and curricula, as well as work together to encourage student innovation, explore new training mechanisms, and broaden international opportunities.

"As young research universities, DKU and Westlake both aspire to build world-class universities and are firmly committed to student success," said Feng.

"This strategic partnership will see DKU collaborate closely with Westlake to improve educational quality, encourage students to learn from different cultures and perspectives, and develop future leaders who can explore, take on a global perspective, and address major challenges facing the world, cross barriers and borders, and serve society with knowledge," she said.

DKU and Westlake have also committed to cross-disciplinary research collaboration in areas of common interest. They will conduct basic and applied research, and research on key technology and applications, as well as organize high-level academic conferences, explore a long-term mechanism for academic dialogue, and construct and share research infrastructure.

In addition, the universities have agreed to work together on talent development by expanding channels for high-level recruitment and maintaining a constructive, well-organized talent management framework.

"Duke Kunshan is a beneficial practice of Sino-US higher education partnership in China, while Westlake is a university rooted in China with distinctive characteristics of international education," Shi said.

"With the current international environment full of uncertainties, collaboration between our two universities is particularly important. In the face of unprecedented challenges and opportunities, we should assume the responsibility and mission of connecting China and the world, convey our voice and values to the international community, and work together to expand the boundaries of knowledge and technology to drive society forward through a more open and inclusive approach."

Westlake University was established in 2018 through a public-private funding initiative. Initially focused on PhD programs and cutting-edge research, the university has three schools – science, life sciences, and engineering – as well as world-leading basic and applied research laboratories.