Global Perspectives Drive Academic Initiatives

NEW YORK, May 11, 2011 – Ensuring that curricula satisfy the continually evolving demands of industry practice is central to the NYU-SCPS mission, which focuses on providing students with the knowledge base and skill sets needed to advance personally and professionally. Critical to this effort is the School’s continued commitment to integrating a global approach within the learning environment. 

“As part of the Global Network University that is NYU, our goal is to educate our students to be globally competent professionals,” explains Robert S. Lapiner, dean of NYU-SCPS. “This means not only creating and utilizing case studies that incorporate global practices in the classroom setting, but also reaching out to the international community through traditional and online forums that address global issues, and providing our students with intensive travel-study experiences that immerse them in a variety of different cultures.”

A prime example of this trend is the growing international activity of the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. While New York City remains at the heart of the universe of real estate, these days NYU Schack’s students also are exploring real estate practices in South America and the Indian subcontinent. “Real estate, once considered a mostly local industry has evolved into a huge international business,” notes Carl Weisbrod, chair of global development at the Institute. The Global Real Estate concentration, part of the newly created M.S. in Real Estate Development, examines how development approaches vary around the world. This fall, students in the program will travel to Mumbai, India, to work with local officials to convert a dock facility into residential and commercial space. After returning to New York, they’ll continue consulting on the project via the Internet.

Helping Shattered Nations Rebuild
NYU-Schack also offers the Post-Catastrophe Reconstruction graduate seminar, in which students gain hands-on experience rebuilding nations decimated by natural or man-made disasters. Last year’s seminar focused on financing and construction solutions for Haiti in the wake of its devastating earthquake. NYU Schack students participated in four on-the-ground projects, chronicled in a documentary film to be released next year. This year’s class is studying Chile, hit by earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

In addition, NYU Schack is offering three intensive, week-long, noncredit programs on global real estate development and financing this June in Prague. All are expected to attract a significant contingent of real estate professionals from Eastern Europe in addition to the Institute’s own students. NYU Schack also co-sponsors graduate student exchange programs with host universities in Berlin and Amsterdam in which students can travel to New York to study at the Institute. 

The Institute’s newly established Center for the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) held its first Annual Sustainable Real Estate Conference in February, which drew attendees from around the world. Co-sponsored by Britain’s Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, among others, it featured panelists from Britain and Germany and provided a close look at sustainability issues in developing nations. The Center also is partnering with the United Nations on a global program to measure greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. 

More Global Initiatives
Real estate is just one of the areas where NYU-SCPS students are establishing an international presence. The School’s Center for Global Affairs (CGA), devoted to educating international affairs professionals, is sponsoring intensive overseas courses for its graduate students this spring and summer on the interplay of media and democratization in the Czech Republic, development issues in Ghana, transition from war zone to a successful economy in Vietnam, and the challenges of prosecuting war crimes with visits to Bosnia, Serbia, and the Hague. Credit and noncredit students can learn about the inner workings of the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. Earlier this spring, noncredit students traveled to Buenos Aires to study social entrepreneurship and civil society.

In another increasingly globalized arena, the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management—already known worldwide for its annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference—is hosting courses in Berlin this summer on sports tourism and mega-events, cultural heritage tourism, and special-interest tourism. Over the recent spring break, the Center sponsored its annual Tisch Center Scholars excursion for high-performing students. This year’s trip, to Santiago, Chile, explored the roles of the hotel, tourism, and sports sectors in helping a region recover from a natural disaster. 

In the spirit of traditional study-away programs, NYU-SCPS also provides its adult undergraduates with overseas educational opportunities. The Paul McGhee Division sponsored a travel-study course to Spain this spring that focused on Muslim influence during the Middle Ages. It is also offering a culture- and history-oriented trip this summer to Tuscany. In addition, the Division cohosts a theater-related excursion to London in August for credit and noncredit students.

New Educational Opportunities for International Academics and Professionals
While NYU-SCPS always has drawn international students to its programs, the School is increasingly engaged in bringing its recognized expertise to business leaders and to scholars from other nations as well, both in their native countries and in New York. The Center for Publishing has launched a highly successful executive education series “on-campus” at NYU-Abu Dhabi. The program is a public service partnership between NYU-SCPS and KITAB, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and the Frankfurt Book Fair. The School’s American Language Institute (ALI)—the oldest program of its kind in any American research university to focus on English language training for non-native speakers—offers immersion courses in English as a Second Language to academics and executives from abroad. As part of the Enterprise Learning initiative, a collaboration between NYU-SCPS and NYU-Poly (the Polytechnic Institute of New York University), ALI is providing an intensive, three-month English course to visiting professionals from the Chinese coal industry that is incorporated into their year-long study program. 

In the nonprofit sector, the George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising hosted a Leadership Summit on Global Philanthropy in February. The summit, which explored the increasingly international nature of fundraising, drew participants from 40 global institutions, and featured keynote speaker Dame Stephanie Shirley, the United Kingdom’s founding Ambassador for Philanthropy. The Heyman Center and CGA also have created a new Certificate in Global Philanthropy, designed for professionals in the nonprofit or government sectors working in international development, humanitarian assistance, and related areas.

Finally, in what could prove to be a groundbreaking contribution to international academic exchange and the promotion of civil society, CGA has designed a two-year program, funded by the British Council, in which Iraqi university professors work with CGA faculty members to develop common curricula in peacemaking, then return home to teach what they’ve learned and put their newly acquired knowledge to work. As CGA Academic Chair Mark Galeotti observes, “It’s not enough to just talk about peace—you have to go out and make it happen.”