Teaching the Best of Both Worlds

Above: NYIT's M.B.A. graduates in China work at some of the country's top firms and government agencies.

NYIT celebrates its legacy in China and continues its transformation into a global player in higher education.

By Amy Wu

Amid the electric pulse of Broadway in New York City, NYIT student Lin “Lynn” Yan gets her first taste of the Big Apple while immersing herself in a truly international business education.

On the other side of the world, 325 undergraduates continue their first year at NYIT in Nanjing, China. Also on the continent, in Shenzen and Nanchang, more than 200 NYIT M.B.A. candidates are earning an NYIT M.B.A. in a program run in conjunction with the Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics (JUFE).

In New York, Yan continues her studies as part of NYIT’s double-degree master’s program with Shanghai’s Tongji University. The program includes a master’s degree in business administration or a human resources management from NYIT and a master’s degree in enterprise management from Tongji. She believes that two degrees from two universities—one in the United States and the other in China—will sharpen her competitive edge, especially in this global economic downturn.

Even with programs in Canada, the Middle East, and China, NYIT offers one of the best perks for any global student—a campus in Manhattan.

Tong Lei and Lin Yan (from left) join fellow Chinese students at NYIT-Manhattan. Seated is Professor Sizong Wu, dean of the School of Economics and Management at Tongji University, which partners with NYIT to offer a double-degree program for graduate students in China and New York.

“International education is important. It is one thing to read something in a textbook, and another thing to actually experience it,” she says.

To Yan, one of a select number of NYIT students who continue their education in the United States, one of the double-degree program’s biggest perks is learning through cultural immersion. When not in class, she grabs every opportunity to practice English in the big city by visiting museums, malls, and the theater, and now considers Barnes & Noble one of her favorite hangouts.

“NYIT is located right on Broadway in the most developed area of New York, so I have a lot of opportunity to practice English,” she says.

A China Strategy, A Global Picture

China programs are an important part of the big picture at NYIT as it evolves into a major player in international higher education. “For institutions, you need to identify your strengths and fight for a niche market,” says Scott Liu, Ph.D., professor of management. “International education is also a way to develop NYIT’s competitive edge.”

NYIT’s foray in bringing high-quality American education and the NYIT degree to China began in 1998 when Liu helped launch the M.B.A. program. NYIT also established an executive management program with Tsinghua University in Beijing in 2007—the same year it opened the first-ever American undergraduate campus in China in collaboration with Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications (NUPT) to 325 students.

The NYIT-NUPT program in Nanjing is significant in many ways. “There was no physical NYIT campus in China before this, and that symbolizes a very big leap for us,” says Roger Yu, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Within the Chinese population, there is a high demand for an American-style education, especially at the undergraduate level. They have the idea that an American degree leads to a better life, a better education,” he says. “The physical presence is very important to Chinese education.”

In addition, NYIT students from New York participate in summer study abroad programs in architecture, interior design, and communication arts—and have worked on projects such as redesigning a waterfront in Shanghai and filming a documentary on preparations for the 2008 Olympics.

“I feel the greatest challenge is to introduce students to a culture that is more than 5,000 years old,” says Michele Bertomen, associate professor of architecture. Because developing nations such as China are playing a greater role in the world’s economy, she adds, the need for NYIT students to experience a global education is vital. “We have much to learn from the Chinese, and they from us.”

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Spring 2009 Table of Contents