NYU Shanghai to Begin Reopening to Students April 27

Apr 24 2020

NYU Shanghai will reopen campus on April 27, ending a nearly three month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campus will re-open in phases — with seniors, graduate students, faculty and staff invited to return beginning April 27, followed by underclassmen on May 4. 

In late January, NYU Shanghai shut down the Academic Building on Century Avenue as well as two student residences in Jinqiao and Pusan to prevent the spread of the virus and safeguard the health of students, faculty and staff. Meanwhile, classes moved online to ensure that students could continue to make progress toward their degrees. 

Return to campus this spring is optional for all students, said Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman. Since many international faculty and students remain outside China and are unable to return due to travel and border restrictions, classes will be held in “mixed-mode” fashion. Classes led by professors who are still outside China will continue to be 100 percent digitally-mediated.  Faculty who are in Shanghai and have students returning to campus may decide to hold live classes in the Academic Building, while simultaneously offering online classes for those students who prefer to participate remotely.

Roughly 60 classes — or about one-fifth of all courses offered this semester — will hold in-person sessions starting the week of April 27. About 300 students are expected to return to campus, said Dean of Students David Pe.  Social, club, and athletic activities will not be resuming on campus this semester.  

While the COVID-19 infection rate has slowed significantly in China, NYU Shanghai community members returning to Century Avenue will be required to observe many new social distancing measures to protect the health of all and prevent the return or spread of the virus.  

Here’s a look at the precautionary measures NYU Shanghai has taken and what community members can expect when returning to the campus:​

One Entrance/One Exit


To minimize potential exposure and better monitor access, the university has designated just one entry and one exit point to the Academic Building. All community members must enter through the Songlin Road gate. The Century Avenue gate will serve as the sole exit. All other doors will be closed.

Temperature Checks

temperature scanner


Every person seeking to enter campus must have their temperature taken upon arrival.   Anyone with a temperature higher than 37.3 Celsius will be sent to a designated fever clinic.


Green QR Codes

qr code

NYU Shanghai security guards at the Academic Building and residence halls will check to ensure that every person entering possesses a “green” health QR code on the Alipay mobile app. A person who does not have a code can approach the front desk to fill two forms: Information of Personal Health Condition and Acknowledgement of End of Quarantine Observation. 

In the Academic Building

in the building


All community members must wear a mask in all public areas, wash hands frequently, and maintain physical distance from each other. No more than five people should share an elevator.  

The Academic Building will be open from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm, Monday through Saturday. This will enable maintenance workers to ensure that the building is sanitized and ventilated every day.

Dining on Campus



The cafeteria will serve just three types of set lunch from 11 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday. Students and faculty will need to book the next day’s meal before 3 pm each day through NYU Shanghai’s WeChat corporate account and pay via campus card.  Faculty and staff members are encouraged to pick up lunch at eight designated spots near the freight elevator on each floor of the Academic Building and to eat at their desks. Community members may dine in the cafeteria so long as they sit one person per table, facing the same direction.  

There will be just one entrance (near the juice bar) and one exit (next to the gym) to the cafeteria. 

The second floor coffee shop will reopen on April 27.

Using the Library


The library academic commons and collection will open from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm, Monday to Saturday, and Sunday if classes are in session. The circulation desk will open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday and 1 to 6 pm on Saturdays. 

In order to avoid overcrowding, there will be fewer seats in the library at the moment. Users will sit at least one meter apart from each other. Small group study rooms are now for solo use only.  No more than two students will be allowed to occupy a larger group study room. 

Students must register their seat locations through the “Save a Spot” seat management system. This allows the university to track down close contacts if a student was found later to have the virus. 

All books returned to the library will be disinfected. A self-service UV book sanitizing machine will be available for anyone who wishes to disinfect their books. Users are welcome to use alcohol wipes to clean keyboards or mice when using computers in the library. 

Protective Gear


Hand sanitizer pumps will be available throughout the building and in every elevator. NYU Shanghai has stocked up on enough disposable masks to last students, faculty and staff for the next month.  

Shuttle Bus Riders 


All shuttle buses will be cleaned and disinfected after every trip. Bus drivers’ health conditions are closely monitored. Students will be required to wear masks throughout the trip, stand at least one meter apart when waiting for the bus, swipe their campus cards to get on the bus, and sit one seat apart from each other on the bus.   


Shanghai Municipal Education Commission toured the NYU Shanghai campus and the student residence hall on Pusan Road on April 24. They praised NYU Shanghai’s efforts on reopening preparation after inspecting access controls, temperature check systems, and quarantine and observation areas.​

“Responsible Reopening”

In a memo to the community, university leaders said they understand that students and faculty will find all these changes to campus life a bit disconcerting. “The point of all these changes is that NYU Shanghai is being challenged to serve as a model of responsible reopening,” wrote Chancellor Yu Lizhong, Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman, and Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen. “The incidence of [COVID-19] is low enough in Shanghai that we are able to reopen in this way, but it is essential that we do so in a manner that minimizes the risks to public health.”

“Of course, this is precisely the sort of challenge that our university was designed to meet. As individuals, and as a community, we gladly accept the responsibilities that go with being part of an innovative experiment that we hope will contribute to the betterment of our world. It is in that spirit that we will go forward and complete a semester unlike any other.”