According to the spokesmen from both institutions, the program will follow a western style curriculum. China’s academics have hailed the move as they believe it can help rid China of the “bureaucracy and academic plagiarism” of many Chinese institutions.
I whole-heartedly agree with this assertion, it is the idea that the school will have “small classes that encourage open discussions” that I question.
Although this has changed somewhat, the governance of China has not.
The reality of Chinese education became shockingly obvious from the beginning of my pursuit of a Doctorate in the People’s Republic of China.
Unbridled by the cultural Chinese mores obliging one to be an inactive part of the learning process, my American colleagues and I buried our professors with questions that they were uncomfortable with, and stated they would not be allowed to answer.
Aside from this, in one particularly interesting course, the professor told us that he was unable to offer us his PowerPoint slides for the class, per the mandates of the ‘powers that be’.
It was then brought to our attention that at least one professor in our university was under house arrest and his classes, materials and his life were closely monitored.
As I sit and ponder the new NYU Chinese endeavor, I cannot but help wonder just how open or western the program will be allowed to be.
Image Credit: NYU