The Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China will delay its on-site programming indefinitely due to uncertainties surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak, school officials announced earlier this week. The center plans to start its spring semester virtually on Feb. 24 with online courses.
The center, run jointly by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Nanjing University, is situated next to the downtown campus of the latter. The city of Nanjing—capital of Jiangsu province of China—is about 330 miles from Wuhan City in Hubei province, where the coronavirus was first identified and most cases have been concentrated.
In light of travel and health concerns associated with the virus, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center will remain closed until administrators from both universities agree on a new opening date.
"Amid a complex and fast-evolving set of challenges, we must consider the wellbeing of HNC community members as well as the restrictions on travel that have emerged both within China and abroad," the center's co-directors wrote in a message Wednesday to students, faculty, and staff.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus topped 28,300 on Thursday, and the death toll exceeded 560, nearly all of them in China.
The Hopkins-Nanjing Center first opened in 1986 as a trailblazing model for international studies in China. Today it is known as the premier institution for educating future leaders of Sino-American relations.
The center's co-directors said they are working to finalize details for online course delivery and will provide additional information in the near future.
"We appreciate your flexibility and understanding during this unique and unexpected set of circumstances," they wrote. "We are confident that our collective efforts will lead to a successful and valuable experience. Thank you also for your patience and cooperation. We look forward to gathering on-site at our HNC community as soon as possible."
Correction: The province in which Nanjing is located was misstated in an earlier version of this article. The Hub regrets the error.