Why NYU Shanghai?

Dec 13 2012
Written by NYU Shanghai

Every student who is admitted to NYU Shanghai will be admitted to a wide variety of other outstanding universities. Why might a student conclude that NYU Shanghai is the right fit?

Our university was created to offer a true twenty-first century education to the world’s most exceptional students, the ones who will provide global leadership in this century. Such an education is defined by six specific features:

  1. Teachers Who Are World Class Researchers. Just as is true at NYU Abu Dhabi, students at NYU Shanghai will take classes from some of the most distinguished professors in the world. They will have been honored for their work with such distinctions as the Nobel Prize, membership in the National Academy of Science, and the presidency of an Ivy League University.
  2. The World’s Most Talented Classmates. At most 300 students will be admitted to NYU Shanghai next year. At most 151 of them will be from China. To be admitted, a student must have the spark of true brilliance, complete integrity, and the kind of character and personality that will enable his or her classmates to realize their fullest potential.
  3. English Language Immersion. Over the past thirty years English has emerged as the language of international conversation. To be a leader in the twenty-first century one must be perfectly fluent in English. At NYU Shanghai English is the language of instruction, while the curriculum integrates rigorous instruction in how to write in English effectively for both native speakers and non-native speakers. International students will also take Chinese courses so that they can be proficient in Chinese by the time they graduate.
  4. A True “Liberal Education.” To develop their natural creativity, their ability to read critically, and their ability to think analytically, students must become active rather than passive learners. Every student must study the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences through teaching methods that require them to think for themselves, to question the common wisdom, and to take intellectual risks. NYU Shanghai features the high faculty-student ratio that makes this kind of teaching possible.
  5. A Multinational, Multicultural Environment. Contemporary life requires multicultural teams of people to work well together, benefiting from multiple perspectives that draw on multiple cultures, without suffering from cross-cultural misunderstandings. College is the best time to develop the skills needed for cross-cultural effectiveness. That means no more than 60% of the students at a university should come from any one nationality. At NYU Shanghai, the largest sub-community will be Chinese, and that group will be no more than half the class. Every student at NYU Shanghai will also be required to spend at least one semester (and as many as three) studying outside China, at others among the 14 campuses that constitute NYU’s global network.
  6. A Curricular, Co-Curricular, and Extra-Curricular Focus on the Relationship Between China and the Rest of the World. The most important development of the past 35 years has been China’s reemergence as a global power. Everyone – Chinese and non-Chinese – needs to understand what that reemergence means for China and for the world. Students at NYU Shanghai will all engage that question together, every day, inside and outside the classroom.

Over the course of the next twenty years, more and more universities will begin to offer their students an education with most if not all of these characteristics. Today, however, NYU Shanghai is the only school that passes all six tests. For the right student, it is simply an ideal place to study.