Today I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new NYU campus in the Pudong district of Shanghai. The campus will consist of a building erected in the middle of a cluster of other skyscrapers and office towers off of Century Avenue in Pudong. John Sexton, NYU's president, was there to give a speech. The Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng was there as well along with many other dignitaries from the Shanghai government and from East China Normal University, which has partnered with NYU in setting up this new campus.
The campus will be, well, very urban, to say the least. And a good preparation for corporate life. But Shanghai's own equivalent to NYC's Central Park, Century Park, isn't too far away. I was told that students and faculty will have access to a nearby gym and health center, and that student housing will also be in the area. As anybody reading this blog knows already, my heart belongs to the old French Concession, but I can understand why they wanted to build the campus in the city's business district out in Pu-Jersey. After all, higher education is a big business as well.
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 (the Zhongshan Beilu branch) will be integrated into the new campus, which is slated to open in 2013. If so I'm sure I won't be the only one who will miss the Huashida campus, which is one of the most beautiful college campuses in Shanghai.