After the university faced a strong pushback from students regarding the new policy disallowing students to study away for three semesters, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs John Robertson held a town hall meeting in New York City.
Around fifteen NYU Shanghai students attended the meeting. Junior Sabrina Ku attended and provided feedback, and Robertson chatted for a few minutes, summarizing the policy. From there, the meeting turned into an open conversation between he and the students.
“Students asked a variety of questions but were primarily aimed towards the amended study away policy. Reasons behind the amendment of the policy, timing of the policy, possible implementation changes of the policy, personal effects from this policy, etc. were all discussed,” Ku described.
For juniors and sophomores especially, many felt that the possibility of a third semester was heavily marketed, and heavily appealing, and in turn had a huge impact on their journey at NYUSH. Robertson admitted that he, and the administration, did not fully understand how meaningful the third semester policy was to students.
Junior Lily Mark also attended the meeting and made sure to express her individual concerns about the policy.
“I thought it was unfair to say the bulletin changes are grandfathered in but this changed so suddenly. It’s especially hard for my grade because it affected people’s decisions and now we can’t do anything about it,” Mark said.
According to Ku, Robertson was receptive to all students’ concerns and experiences.
“Given the town hall and interactions with Provost John Robertson, the administration is being receptive to our opinions and are genuinely hearing out our concerns,” Ku said.
She added that the biggest issue surrounding the policy was the lack of consensus, clarity, and cohesiveness across departments in regard to the policy. Even though the school never guaranteed every student a third semester, they would always consider given “reasonable evidence.” Now, students feel that what was once “reasonable evidence,” for example completing more than one major or minor or internships, is no longer valid for a third semester abroad.
Ku concluded by again stating that Robertson will be continuing to take the student body’s concerns into account.
“Hopefully, they can find a way to ‘grandfather’ the policy amendment in or find other ways to establish it,” Ku said.
This article was written by Isabel Adler. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Maya Williams