The objective of the Johns Hopkins–Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies (known as the Hopkings–Nanjing Center) is to foster mutual understanding and appreciation between China and the West, and to train students with an interest in becoming leaders in Sino-Western relations. It is the only joint-university program of its type in China.

The Johns Hopkins University–Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies (known as the Hopkings–Nanjing Center) was established in 1986 by then–Johns Hopkins University president Steven Muller and then–Nanjing University president Kuang Yaming. Its mission is to train future leaders involved in Sino-Western relations and to improve mutual understanding and relations between China and the West by bringing people together for a period of intense exposure to each other’s history, culture, contemporary thought, and society.

The Hopkins–Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies is housed on the campus of Nanjing University in Nanjing, China. The program is operated jointly by Nanjing University and the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C.

President Muller first envisioned the center back in 1977. SAIS already had a track record of success with its international program and with its graduate school in Bologna, Italy. Muller wanted to replicate that success in Asia, and realized that China was “the country of the future” (Rienzi 2007). He foresaw the need to establish a positive relationship between the U.S. and China.

It would be a few years before Muller’s vision became a reality, but in 1981, when a delegation of Chinese university presidents visited the campus of Johns Hopkins, Muller met Kuang Yaming, and the Hopkins–Nanjing Center was born.

The Center officially opened in 1986 with twelve international students and forty Chinese students enrolling that first year. Since then it has grown to become the largest institution dedicated solely to training futures leaders of Sino-American relations, with a total enrollment of 140 students in 2008.

Each year, around seventy postgraduate Chinese students go to the Center to study in English about the United States, economics, and international affairs. They are taught at the Center by faculty hired from American universities by the Johns Hopkins University. At the same time, around seventy students from outside China, most of whom are American, study in Chinese from the Chinese faculty of Nanjing University. They learn about contemporary Chinese politics, economic development, social changes, and the underlying cultural issues affecting contemporary China. Students can work toward either a one-year certificate in Chinese and American studies or a two-year Master of Arts in International Studies.

The two groups of students live together at the Center’s dormitory. Usually, Chinese and non-Chinese students are paired as roommates so they can learn from each other and explore differences in culture and language. In addition, all students have access to a bilingual, open-stack library with about 65,000 volumes. The Center also hosts seminars, lectures, and extracurricular activities aimed at offering opportunities to learn more about each other’s society and culture.

The Center currently boasts over 1,700 graduates now working in such fields as business, journalism, government positions, and academia. It is the only accredited academic program in both China and the United States that offers a master’s degree.

Further Reading

Rienzi, G. (2007, June 11). An unlikely success story in China. The JHU Gazette. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from

The Johns Hopkins University–Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. (2008). Retrieved September 19, 2008, from

Source: The Editors. (2009). Hopkins–Nanjing Center. In Linsun Cheng, et al. (Eds.), Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, pp. 1062–1063. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.

Hopkins–Nanjing Center (Huòp?j?ns? Dàxué Nánj?ng Zh?ngx?n ??????????)|Huòp?j?ns? Dàxué Nánj?ng Zh?ngx?n ?????????? (Hopkins–Nanjing Center)

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