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BEIJING – Shanghai soon could have its own world-famous New York University film school instruction on NYU’s first campus in China.
NYU, which opened a branch of its Tisch School of the Arts in Singapore in 2007 with Oliver Stone as artistic director, will, in the fall of 2013, open a liberal arts college in Shanghai set to include classes in the cinematic and performing arts, the college said on Tuesday.
NYU Shanghai, where classes will be taught in English, eventually will enroll 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, about 40-50 percent of whom will come from within China, NYU president John Sexton and provost David McLaughlin said, calling it a “degree-granting portal campus within NYU’s global network.”
The Shanghai campus, which Sexton and Shanghai mayor Han Zheng broke ground for on Monday, will complement an Abu Dhabi campus opened in 2010 and a study abroad program NYU has run in Shanghai since 2006 with East China Normal University (Huashida, in Mandarin).
NYU Shanghai “is a major step in [China’s] higher education reform,” Sexton and McLaughlin said in an email sent to students and alumni.
The new school, where the yet-to-be-announced faculty also will teach art history, biology, business, economics, finance, history, literature, math and social sciences, will encourage students “to engage in critical analysis and open inquiry,” Sexton and McLaughlin said in their email.
This liberal, Western mode of instruction could prove new and challenging to the latest generation of filmmakers in a country where box office receipts jumped 64 percent in 2010 to hit $1.5 billion.
The NYU Shanghai campus will be located not far from the 2010 World Expo site in Pudong, on the east side of the river that bisects the city of nearly 20 million people. It will be created in partnership with the Pudong district government, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and East China Normal University, or Huashida, as it is known locally.
NYU Shanghai “is the first such university to receive the approval and support of the Ministry of Education along with the Shanghai Municipal government, and the first to be established in a major Chinese city,” Sexton and McLaughlin said.
NYU Shanghai officials could not be reached by telephone or email for more details. A woman who answered the phone there but asked not to be named referred queries to New York, and said faculty currently teaching film classes at NYU’s study abroad program at East China Normal University were not necessarily going to teach at NYU Shanghai.
“The question of staffing and recruitment hasn’t been worked out in great detail as far as I know and it remains to be seen how and when the current NYU-Shanghai program located on the campus of Huashida will be integrated into the new campus,” Andrew Field, an NYU study abroad professor, wrote in a blog post about the groundbreaking.
For hints at NYU Shanghai’s possible future plans, Tisch Asia in Singapore — where Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps director Stone is but an occasional visitor — offers three Master of Fine Arts degrees within the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television: Animation and Digital Arts, Dramatic Writing: Film and International Media Producing.
Dr. Pari Sara Shirazi, president of Tisch Asia, said in an email to THR that she understood NYU Shanghai as an “undergraduate liberal arts program” and “not a performing and cinematic art school.”
“I do not believe they will have an Oliver Stone counterpart in Shanghai. Rather, they will have stellar and high-ranking academic faculty,” said Shirazi, who added that she hoped that Tisch Asia and the NYU Shanghai campus could collaborate and exchange faculty.
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