According to a university press release, the New York University Board of Trustees, the President of NYU, and the President of East China Normal University announced today that New York University would be opening NYU Shanghai, “a comprehensive research university with a liberal arts and science college in China’s financial capital, the first American university with independent legal status approved by the Ministry of Education.”
The statement reads, “For NYU, the creation of NYU Shanghai is another major step in the evolution of NYU as the first global network university — standing with NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi as a degree-granting portal campus. The global network provides a new architecture for the University, an organic integrated system permitting faculty and students to move easily from within the system to pursue their scholarly interests. In this regard, the architecture of the University incarnates in the free flow of its community the free flow of ideas that has long characterized the academic disciplines and the advancement of thought.
In addition to the three portal campuses, the network includes a dozen other global academic sites on six continents, including new sites under development in Washington, DC, and Sydney, Australia. NYU’s global network was recently recognized with the Sen. Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. A full explanation of the global network university idea that can be found online by clicking here.
For China, the creation of NYU Shanghai is a major step in the country’s higher education reform. It expresses a commitment to incorporate internationally accepted standards of university design and administration into China’s efforts to expand access to higher education pursuant to its National Long-term Educational Reform and Development Program.”
The first class of incoming students to NYU Shanghai will enter in September 2013. Half of the matriculants are expected to come from China while the other half are expected to come from around the world, making it truly a global university. When the university is fully formed, it is expected that it will enroll 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The education will be similar to that offered at NYU’s Manhattan campus — one grounded in the liberal arts that requires students to take courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences before they begin their concentration in any particular discipline.
NYU Shanghai marks the first “global network university” but it will surely not be the last. Rather, we project that this comprehensive research university marks the beginning of a new trend in higher education as, soon, all major U.S. universities will have comprehensive research universities in other parts of the world. A U.S. education will thus become more and more accessible to the global community.