Jiangsu, China — Classes have been canceled at the Duke Kunshan University in China while the coronavirus outbreak is investigated, and students there must leave or commit to stay on campus for the next few weeks.
Duke Kunshan University, or DKU, released a statement on Saturday announcing the decision to postpone all classes until Monday, Feb. 17.
Students, faculty and staff currently on campus will be required to stay in China until Saturday, Feb. 15 or make arrangements to return home. Individuals from the Hubei province, where the coronavirus first emerged, must stay at the school.
Students, faculty and staff who are not on campus will not be allowed to return until Feb. 15, or until the university announces they can do so. The school is currently closed for the Lunar New Year but had planned to reopen Feb. 3.
DKU opened in 2018 and is a partnership between Duke University and China’s Wuhan University, according to the DKU facebook page.
According to Mike Schoenfeld, the VP Public Affairs and Government Relations at Duke, between 60 and 80 American students currently attend DKU. For privacy reasons, Schoenfeld could not confirm how many of those students are from North Carolina or how many are on campus at this time.
“We will continue to provide students on campus with resources, services and support, including dining and cleaning services,” the school said. “We are also closely monitoring their well-being, offering health checks, physiological counseling and emotional support and distributing surgical masks.”
The university said it will provide financial support to international and Chinese students who wish to return home.
A caller who wished to remain anonymous spoke to WRAL News Saturday and said his niece, an American student at the school, is still on campus and is “panicking.” He was under the impression that DKU was going to give international students $1,000 to get out of China, but he said that is not enough for a last-minute flight.
According to the caller, students were told they would need to wear face masks once they return to their home countries.
DKU, located in China’s Jiangsu province, is a liberal arts university that offers students 4-year programs. Students who graduate from DKU graduate with two degrees — one from DKU and one from Duke University.
In a phone call with WRAL News on Saturday, Schoenfeld said there is “no indication” that any students, faculty or staff are directly affected by the virus.
“We want to assure everyone that the health and safety of our students and faculty are a primary concern,” he said. “Everyone is working 24/7 to monitor and address the situation.”