Published: 12:28, July 20, 2020 | Updated: 22:04, June 5, 2023
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NYU opens Shanghai campus to students
By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai

New York University Shanghai hosts its 2020 commencement on May 29. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

As schools worldwide are deciding how to handle international students in the fall semester, amid the uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, New York University Shanghai announced it will host Chinese and China-based students from NYU and NYU Abu Dhabi in the upcoming term.

About 2,300 Chinese undergraduates and 800 graduate students from NYU and NYU Abu Dhabi will join some 1,700 NYU Shanghai students in the fall term on the Shanghai campus.

NYU Shanghai said the move is part of the NYU global network's "go local" plan in response to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic

NYU Shanghai said the move is part of the NYU global network's "go local" plan in response to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. Students from the three NYU campuses can apply to study at an NYU location that is open and closer to home.

"NYU Shanghai will host students who are currently in China and are unable to or prefer not to travel to their home campuses this fall. Some international students from NYU Shanghai will also attend classes in NYU locations outside China and closer to their homes," NYU Shanghai said in a release on Saturday.

The Shanghai campus will also host students of other nationalities who live in countries and regions near China, who would otherwise be bound for New York or Abu Dhabi. It did not disclose the number of such students.

"In these uncertain times, NYU Shanghai is proud to be able to provide students from our sister campuses in New York and Abu Dhabi with this opportunity to attend live classes in Shanghai," said Tong Shijun, chancellor of NYU Shanghai. This first Sino-US joint campus, founded in 2012, is NYU's third degree-granting campus.

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Tong said the school was grateful for the support for the initiative, "especially from the Shanghai government".

Another such international university system, Duke Kunshan University-a venture of Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina, and Wuhan University in Kunshan, Jiangsu province-said at least 80 Chinese Duke University students who will be unable to fly to the US in August will commence the fall semester at the Kunshan campus.

Students and their parents said it seemed the best substitute while the pandemic and visa and flight issues regarding international students remained unclear.

Faculty members added

A Duke University freshman from Taiyuan, Shanxi province, who preferred not to be named, said he cared more about classmates and teachers being able to continue as scheduled than where the classroom is situated.

NYU Shanghai said an additional 75 faculty members from NYU and other universities will join the Shanghai faculty teaching the nearly 200 undergraduate courses and 40 graduate student courses at the campus. Classes will not be taught online there as the city's public health situation is largely under control.

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Because the additional 3,000 students will exceed the capacity of NYU Shanghai's academic building in Pudong's Lujiazui financial area, the school will convert seven floors of a nearby office building into classrooms, lecture halls and other facilities.

Rigorous safety measures, including body temperature scanners, hand sanitizers and alternate seating, allowing for social distancing, have been in place at the academic building since the school reopened in April and will be continued at the temporary campus, the school said.

"All of us at NYU Shanghai are looking forward to welcoming these visitors into our community this fall," Vice-Chancellor Jeff Lehman said. "These are challenging times, and it is gratifying to know that our university can continue to promote healthy bridges between China and the rest of the world while we await the restoration of more normal opportunities to travel across national borders."