Backlash Against New Study Away Policy

Now that the ability to petition for a third study away semester is gone, some are wondering if the school is moving away from the slogan that made it so enticing in the first place.

Five words every student at NYU Shanghai has heard since their freshman year are, “Make the World Your Major.” The idea of studying in many different foreign countries, by your graduation date, was a huge selling point for many people who decided to attend. This has, until recently, included the opportunity to study abroad for three semesters.

Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs John Robertson announced in a school-wide email that NYU Shanghai students will no longer be able to spend a third semester away. The reasons for the revocation of this policy include “the cohort connection to the home campus, identity as NYU Shanghai students, performance on senior requirements such as capstones, and engaging with resources designed to support student transitions to graduate schools, fellowships, or first jobs.”

Now that the ability to petition for a third study away semester is gone, some are wondering if the school is moving away from the slogan that made it so enticing in the first place.

For sophomore Key Hinerman these reasons are “vague and unconvincing.”

Hinerman made a post on the NYUSH All Classes and Study Away Facebook page, calling for people to sign a petition he made in response to the email. He stated that this will be the first course of action he will take in his effort to have the policy reversed.

So far, the petition has 233 signatures and 29 comments from students discussing their thoughts on the policy change. The majority voiced support for the petition.

Additionally, Hinerman commented that the revocation of this policy is false advertising.

“I think that this goes directly against what NYUSH told us during the application stage as well as during Admitted Students Weekend,” Hinerman said.

In the email, the following reasons are no longer considered acceptable for petition, “networking, career development, internships, completing a minor, completing a second major, participating in research, desire to take courses not offered in Shanghai, working with professors at another site, or other personal circumstances.”

But, for many students these are the exact reasons they go abroad for more than one semester. Selling NYU Shanghai as a global university with the slogan “Make the World Your Major” seems ironic in light of this change in policy. However, Robertson describes the change as “a reflection of NYU Shanghai’s desire to increase the number of available classes and professors.” He is sure that this decision is in the best interest for the university and its students, although it may take some convincing for students to agree.

This article was written by Alexandra Mathew. Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Maya Williams

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