East meets West: How can you receive a Western-style education while studying in mainland China? | Top Universities

East meets West: How can you receive a Western-style education while studying in mainland China?

By Chloe Lane

Updated May 12, 2022 Updated May 12, 2022

Sponsored by Duke Kunshan University  

If you’re considering studying a master’s degree abroad, you may be struggling to choose between studying in the East or the West.  

There are several major differences between studying in the East and studying in the West, particularly when it comes to teaching methods.  

Although every university is different, a Western-style education tends to teach through hands-on learning involving problem-solving and understanding new approaches to challenges, whereas Eastern-style teaching is usually a lot more theoretical.  

But if you’re looking for an Eastern university that offers a Western-style education, Duke Kunshan University can offer the best of both worlds.  

Duke Kunshan University is a Chinese-American partnership of Wuhan University and Duke University. These two prestigious universities came together to create a world-class liberal arts and research university in Jiangsu, China offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programmes.  

By studying a master’s degree at an integrated university such as Duke Kunshan University, here are several ways you will enjoy a Western-style higher education in Mainland China. 

Study in English on a US-style campus  


An internationally focused university in China such as Duke Kunshan will give students the opportunity to develop valuable intercultural and interpersonal skills, while opening up a variety of career options.  

A truly international university, Duke Kunshan boasts a diverse student body and staff, with 30 percent of students and 70 percent of faculty coming from outside mainland China. Students will also get the opportunity to study postgraduate programmes in English. 

The university is situated in Kunshan, one of mainland China’s most developed regions and renowned cultural and historic sites. Kunshan is also a hub for high-tech research and manufacturing and a great place to immerse yourself in Chinese culture. 

With Shanghai to the east and Suzhou to the west, students enjoy the convenience of living between these two metropolitans, while studying in a 200-acre, US-style campus.  

However, the benefits of studying at an international university don’t stop there.  

Thanks to the partnership between Wuhan University in China and Duke University in the US, students at Duke Kunshan University will get the opportunity to study at both Duke Kunshan’s campus in Kunshan, China and the Duke campus in North Carolina in the US.  

This enables students to enjoy an authentic experience at a Western university, while benefiting from the career opportunities and cultural experience of studying in China.  

A low student to faculty ratio ensures lots of support while studying  

students duke kunshan

Mainland China is widely renowned for its high-quality education, with 57 Chinese universities featured in the most recent QS World University Rankings.  

Duke Kunshan offers 15 undergraduate degrees and five master’s programmes, all of which are authorised by Duke University  and recognised around the world for their academic excellence.  

Unlike many traditional Chinese universities who have large class sizes, master’s students at Western-style universities such as Duke Kunshan benefit from a low student to faculty ratio, meaning students will enjoy smaller class sizes (more than half of the classes have less than 20 students) and receive personalised support throughout their degree.  

Graduates enjoy high levels of employment   

Duke Kunshan offers support to all students and alumni looking to develop the skills needed to prepare for a successful international career. The university has careers advisors to help its students with resumes, interview skills, networking, internships and professional etiquette.  

Duke Kunshan’s career services offer one-on-one appointments and regularly organise company information sessions, talks by guest speakers, networking sessions and careers skills workshops.  

As a result, the university boasts a high employment rate with more than 90 percent of graduates receiving a full-time job offer within six months of finishing their graduate studies. These graduates work in a variety of jobs across industry, academia and nonprofit or go on to Ph. D. studies.  

In 2022, Duke Kunshan student Ege Kaan Duman became the first DKU student to receive a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which covers the cost of postgraduate study at the University of Oxford in the UK.  

This article was originally published in April 2022 . It was last updated in May 2022

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 


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