New Program to Be Housed in 15th Century Building; Academics to Be Linked to 650 year-old Charles University New York University President L. Jay Oliva today announced the opening of NYU’s latest global study center, the “NYU in Prague Program.” The program, which is linked to the venerable Charles University of Prague, opened this fall with some 50 students expected this year. The official grand opening of NYU’s facility, which is housed in a renovated 15th century building in central Prague, is scheduled for November 23 in Prague and will be attended by prominent members of Prague’s business, cultural, intellectual and educational communities, including author Ivan Klima.
The Prague Center is based on NYU’s global study center model. This model emphasizes the establishment of a local NYU center; course-work at nearby major urban universities that advances study in the student’s major and is pre-approved by NYU for credit; classes with students and professors from the host country; local internships with international firms; regional travel; and study of local and regional culture.
The center in Prague is the latest addition to NYU’s network of global study centers. NYU already has similar centers in Florence, Paris, and Madrid. In the next few years, NYU is expected to establish similar programs in Buenos Aires and London, and is exploring the creation of programs at Dublin, Istanbul, Capetown and Asian sites. The global study centers NYU is establishing throughout the world are part of an overall global vision for educating its students, which includes: student study abroad; year-long and multi-year visiting professorships for scholars from abroad; participation in the League of World Universities; recruitment of foreign students; use of computer and telecommunications technology for joint classes with foreign universities; and the establishment of international houses on NYU’s campus, among other undertakings.
Dr. Oliva said, “I am very pleased to announce the opening of the NYU in Prague Program.’
“Historically, most of the world’s great universities were situated in cities. That’s where people congregated, that’s where the life of the mind thrived, that’s where intellectual capital was most needed. The university as pastoral setting, walled off from daily concerns, is a much more recent vision.
“New York University has always felt itself linked to that classic model. NYU looks to the great urban-based universities of the world to find its peers. And through the establishment of centers such as this as well as through technology, visiting faculty and other efforts we strengthen those important connections.
“For too many years, study abroad’ has been synonymous with semester-long vacation’: a little coursework, a lot of restaurants and gallery tours. But global education is critically important; I never learned more than I did when I studied in Europe as a Fribourg Fellow. So, what NYU has done is to take a different, ambitious tack: to create mini-campuses structured so that a student can both continue his regular coursework and broaden his understanding of the world. The aim is not to study abroad,’ but to expand NYU’s students’ education globally. And all the while the students are learning, they will be engaging and I believe contributing to the intellectual life of the city, the region and the culture in which they find themselves.
“Education in this day and age must be global, and it must be serious. Higher education is not a country club. The establishment of NYU in Prague is a demonstration of the seriousness of our intent in being on the cutting edge of education globally.”
In addition to providing classroom space, support and administration for the program, the NYU Center in Prague offers one of the most advanced and elaborate computing centers in the Czech Republic. In addition, the Center attracts major speakers and intellectuals from across Europe for lectures open to the Prague community.
A sampling of courses and lectures being offered to students at NYU in Prague this year and in coming years either at the Center or through Charles University include:
Central Europe, NATO and the European Union Media and the Politics of Transition Jews and Modernity The European City Privatization
New York University was established in 1831. Located in New York City’s historic Greenwich Village, NYU was specifically modeled on the great urban universities of Europe and was founded to serve the emerging middle class and new Americans. Through its 13 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and science, law, medicine, dentistry, business, education, nursing, public administration and policy, social work, and the cinematic and performing arts, among other areas.