Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) is a province-state friendship project between the Zhejiang Province and New Jersey in the United States. It is a Chinese-American jointly established higher education institution with independent legal person status and limited liabilities. On November 16th, 2011, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (MOE) approved the application of preparation on establishing Wenzhou-Kean University that was cooperatively run by Wenzhou University and Kean University USA. On March 31st, 2014, the MOE announced the approval of the establishment of Wenzhou-Kean University. The University adopts such a governance structure where the Chancellor shall act as the executive officer, and serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors composed of members from both the Chinese and American parties is the highest authority of Wenzhou-Kean University.
During the preparation stage, the University received friendly concerns from the Chinese Central leaderships and enormous attention from Party committees and People’s governments at different levels. On May 8th, 2006, Mr. Xi Jinping Secretary of CPC Zhejiang Province (at that time) visited Kean University in New Jersey and delivered a keynote speech in the Signing Ceremony of cooperation in establishing Wenzhou-Kean University. The MOE regards the establishment of the University as one of the critical projects that enlarges the scope of Education Open-up while enhancing education reform in return. In July 2014, WKU was listed on the fifth round of the deliverables of China-US High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange as the only education project in Zhejiang province. On September 23th 2015, President Xi Jinping mentioned Wenzhou-Kean University at the third China-U.S. Governors forum, describing the University as “making good progress.”
Striving for excellence in building an international university with world-class education, Wenzhou-Kean University has been dedicated to the principle of “providing students with different ways of development”. In November 2013, the University was accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In March 2018, the Bachelor Degree Conferral Evaluation Panel of the Department of Education of Zhejiang Province concluded that Wenzhou-Kean University possesses the qualifications to confer bachelor degrees. In June 2018, the Chinese Ministry of Education and Zhejiang Province listed WKU as one of the exemplary Sino-foreign cooperative universities, supporting it to become “an internationalized and world-class university”. Being well-knit with Chinese actual conditions and needs in developing regional economy and cultures, the University sets up its pedagogical goal that aims to merge Chinese and American teaching methodologies in practice and builds itself into a world-class university featuring world-class campus and facilities, professional faculty communities, academic research and maintenance services. Aiming to build itself into a high-level education institution as a fine example of China-foreign education partnership, the University strives to cultivate students with global vision and patriotic sentiment, press ahead China’s higher education reform and better serve regional economic, social and cultural development. The WKU TOEFL center was unveiled in September 2019, which meant that Wenzhou becomes the third city in Zhejiang Province that has a TOEFL test site. In January 2020, WKU was approved as a GRE test center, making it the only test center in southern Zhejiang area.
The University introduces advanced educational resources from prestigious universities in the U.S. and uses original American textbooks. More than 90% of the curriculum are provided by Kean University and all the courses are taught in English. 90% of the faculty are recruited globally. The University offers small size classes and adopts an inquiry-based learning approach. China’s national conditions and culture education are embedded in teaching practices. The University aims to cultivate students with global vision, mastering of international rules and conventions, and innovative creative and initiative competences. “Start here, go anywhere”. The University helps students realize their dreams and prepare them to be successful in the global arena.
Wenzhou-Kean focuses on undergraduate education at the present stage, and it will offer graduate education in the next phase gradually. The University comprises four colleges–College of Business and Public Management, College of Architecture and Design, College of Liberal Arts and College of Science and Technology. The University now offers 17 undergraduate programs with six disciplines, namely, economics, science, engineering, literature, management and art. WKU has established a diverse and mixed discipline in the field of science, engineering, literature and arts with economics and management as its pillar. In November 2019, MOE granted Wenzhou-Kean University approval to offer graduate education and graduates will receive degrees from Kean University. The eight master programs and three doctoral programs are: Computer Information Systems (M.S.), Instruction and Curriculum (M.A.), Global Managment (MBA), Biotechnology Science (M.S.), Psychology (M.A.), Educational Administration (M.A.), Architecture (M.Arch.), Accounting (M.S.), Combined School and Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.), Counseling and Supervision (Ph.D.) and Educational Leadership (Ed.D.). The University rolls out three programs in 2020: Educational Leadership (Ed.D.), Biotechnology Science (M.S.) and Instruction and Curriculum (M.A.), and other graduate programs will be rolled out gradually in the next years. WKU currently has about 340 faculty and staff, with around 120 faculty members. Most of the faculty members hold Ph.D. degrees with international teaching experience. The outstanding faculty community has provided strong talents support for the University’s development as a global university.
In 2019, the University recruited 800 tier-1 students from 17 provinces and cities in China. Now it has a student population of about 2500, including international students and students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. WKU will develop about 7000 on-campus students by the year 2025, while 8,500 students in the later period of development. Students will receive dual degrees from Wenzhou-Kean University and Kean University in addition to a graduation certificate from Wenzhou-Kean University. WKU has graduated four cohorts—around 1200 students have graduated from this university. 60% of them are admitted by some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Among all the graduates of Class of 2019, 68% choose to pursue further studies, and 43% are accepted by QS top 50 universities. Students participate in various international meetings and events, such as APEC meetings and World Youth Leadership Training Camp. WKU students also win many awards in a variety of academic competitions both at home and abroad, they also win recognition in international magazines.
Covering an area of 494 acres in land planning, the campus of Wenzhou-Kean University is located in a beautiful township called Li’ao in Wenzhou. The area of the first phase construction is 173.8 acres and the floor area is 250,000 square meters. The style of Chinese layout and elements of American university are embodied in the campus buildings and facilities. The University strives for building a humanistic ecological intellectual and outreach campus with merged Chinese and American cultures. For the moment, the first and second bidding section with a total of 138,000 square meters within the first phase of construction has been completed and put into regular running. A global and modern campus structure has been revealed along with the ongoing construction projects.