On April 10, NYU Shanghai officially partnered with local Yangjing High School in a ceremony hosted by school officials and Pudong District leadership.

In China, it is not unusual for top-level universities to partner with high schools. NYU Shanghai will provide intellectual support and educational ideas to Yangjing, while the high school has offered use of its sports facilities to NYU Shanghai. There is no financial obligation between either school, as the Pudong government will cover any associated expenses.

Founded in 1930, Yangjing is the fourth oldest high school in Shanghai. Though once considered one of the top high schools, the expansion of other top high schools has put their ranking at risk. The leadership of Pudong District, led by new Vice Mayor Li Guohua, is seeking to revitalize Yangjing as part of their reform efforts in secondary education.

The reform efforts focus on experimentation and innovation, and NYU Shanghai represents those values in Pudong. “It’s symbolic, but we are trying to be a helpful resource to them,” said NYU Shanghai Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman.

A key figure in the agreement is NYU Shanghai Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences Zhongjian Zhao. According to NYU Shanghai Chancellor Lizhong Yu, Zhao is “an expert in education and a very famous professor of STEM education in China.”

“He drafted all the documents for NYU Shanghai,” said Yu. “But now he has time to focus on other issues, such as developing secondary education.”

“Professor Zhao will spend some time [at Yangjing High School], helping their faculty to learn about different models of secondary education around the world,” said Lehman.

Yu describes the relationship between NYU Shanghai and Yangjing as “loose.” However, there are opportunities for further development. Yu and Lehman are already discussing a volunteer program for NYU Shanghai students to volunteer at Yangjing.

NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development hosts a masters program for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in New York City and Shanghai, and has expressed interest in working with Yangjing to provide opportunities to their graduate students.

This article was written by Savannah Billman. Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai

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