The global network university (GNU) is a new paradigm in higher education. Designed to draw the most talented and creative students and faculty from around the world, it enables those students and faculty to circulate seamlessly throughout the network without leaving the University's intellectual community and resources. Research and learning at each of the network's sites are connected to and enhanced by the whole, and students become global citizens. Once "in and of the city," NYU, its students, and faculty are now "in and of the world."
The fundamental organizational element of the GNU is the portal campus, of which NYU has two: NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York. A third, NYU Shanghai, will open to students in fall 2013. These "anchor" campuses grant NYU degrees and are deeply related to one another, each using and building upon one another's assets. While students may choose to complete the majority of their programs of study in one location, the campuses curricula are designed with mobility in mind — as are those of the global academic centers scattered around the globe.
These 14 global academic centers, located on five continents, complement the portal campuses, allowing students to study away for a semester or longer at a site of their choice. Each site offers a range of courses, permitting students to complete core requirements — as well as co-curricular activities to explore the region, meet local students and figures, and use new language skills — and is characterized by a distinct academic identity. NYU Accra, for example emphasizes global public health and economic development, while NYU Berlin focuses on art and the humanities, and NYU Prague centers on music as well as global media and transitional government. The global academic centers are: Abu Dhabi, Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, New York, Paris, Prague, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Sydney, and Washington, DC.
Students are encouraged to spend up to two semesters during their four years at NYU Abu Dhabi studying abroad at GNU sites where students from both NYUAD and NYUNY study together and experience the rich social diversity of NYU's global network.
In addition to semesters away, students may spend up to two January Term sessions traveling with faculty for site-specific research or projects away. For the 2012 term, courses were offered in Abu Dhabi, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, New York, and Shanghai. Regional course-related study trips are also offered, during which students — led by faculty and local experts — experience the diverse places and people of the UAE and broader Middle East, connect their academic studies with on-the-ground exploration of the region, and deepen their knowledge through first-hand experiences of the societies and issues they are studying at NYUAD. Recent trips were made to Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, and the seven emirates of the UAE.
This global environment also allows faculty members to flow between NYUAD and NYUNY. Enhancing its standing faculty, NYUAD has a large cohort of affiliated faculty from across NYU's vast range of programs in New York, as well as visiting faculty from other outstanding universities. NYUAD professors are scholars, scientists, and artists who are proven and innovative teachers and leaders of international standing in their fields. They are creating an institution unlike any other in the world.
Global education is an essential component of NYUAD's educational mission and curriculum. It is realized through a careful sequence of interrelated academic and intercultural experiences that provide students with intellectually rigorous, research-focused learning environments that complement and extend their coursework. This global orientation reflects the international diversity of the student body and the cosmopolitan character of Abu Dhabi.