On August 25, NYU Shanghai opened its doors to the new Class of 2022 and their families. Both Chinese and international parents took part in a Parents Welcome Panel, attended by Chancellor Yu Lizhong, Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman, Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen, Academic Affairs, the Career Development Center, and NYU Shanghai alumni.
On the Chinese Parents Panel, parent representatives and alumni started by sharing their valuable first-hand experience as NYU Shanghai’s first generation of explorers.
Known as “Prof. Exploration” by many Chinese parents, Mr. Weiping Wu talked about the changes that he saw in his daughter, who graduated in 2017. With humor and wisdom, he recounted incidents when his daughter demonstrated her strength in English communication and effective negotiation, which is testimony to the advantage of NYU Shanghai’s liberal arts education.
Ms. Chunyan Gu, a parent representative from the Class of 2019, talked about her daughter’s experience of building an enduring friendship with her roommate, a girl from Sri Lankan, through open communication and mutual respect for each other’s religion and life style.
Alumnus Zeyu Zhao '17 also recalled how he benefited from a liberal arts education and shared study-away stories, which helped him find a passion in public policy and set career goals. He advised new parents to trust their children’s choices and give them freedom to thrive.
Following the panel discussion, Chenya Song from Academic Affairs, and Hao Guo from the Career Development Center highlighted resources of support, from their respective offices, that NYU Shanghai provides to students at every stage of their university lives. These topics were of great interest to many parents.
Director Guo drew the audience’s attention to NYU Shanghai’s first Graduation Destination Report: “Our graduates are confident of their cross-cultural competence that was empowered by an education of global experience. What the employers value most are their interpersonal skills and a positive attitude toward any tasks.”
On the International Parents’ Panel, Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman thanked every parent for supporting their child’s choice to attend NYU Shanghai. He made a point of warning the parents that by choosing NYU Shanghai, students will need to work harder than many of their peers at other universities.
“Students at NYU Shanghai will not learn by just taking classes, or attending seminars,” said Lehman. “They will have to learn through risk management and all the other failures and obstacles they might encounter in the years ahead.”
Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen also encouraged parents to give their children more room to grow and encourage them to take risks at school.
Many international parents were interested in learning about on-campus services in mental health counselling, as well as, sports facility in surrounding communities. Some of them also expressed their wish that their child pursues a career in China after earning a degree at NYU Shanghai.
In his closing speech, Chancellor Yu reminded every parent that the Class of 2022 is the first post-millennium generation who grew up as "inhabitants of the digital age." From the day they were born, they have been harnessed with new technologies that are beyond the reach of their forefathers’ imagination. They are most keen on using new technologies.
Yu said, “Only by understanding the strengths and shortcomings of this generation, will parents be able to communicate with their children more effectively.”
Chancellor Yu advised that parents spend time studying NYU Shanghai Student Handbook. He also expressed his hope that parents would respect their child’s privacy, and abide by the code of integrity.