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myself, am teaching exactly what I want with the usual lack of
oversight enjoyed by any professor teaching at NYU in Washington
Square,’’ in his course. ‘‘As an example of my unhindered freedom,
my course requires the students to compare U.S. and Chinese con-
stitutional rules and concepts, and as background for this compari-
son I assign so-called ‘sensitive’ documents such as the infamous
Document Number 9.’’
This is the kind of classroom that we have at NYU Shanghai
today. And I do believe it is important that we have classrooms like
this in order to be true to our mission as NYU.
. Just so I am totally clear, it is your testimony that
the seven taboos or seven silences—universal values, press free-
dom, civil society, citizens’ rights, criticism of the Communist Par-
ty’s past, neoliberal economics, and independence of the judiciary—
can all be taught in an unfettered way on your campus without any
fear of retaliation? That is what happening?
. That is my testimony. It is absolutely true. That
is the case. And I should say, one of the interesting points about
the seven taboos—and this is just an example of how complicated
China is today—one of them I think that you mentioned is on
neoliberal economics as a banned topic. If you go in Shanghai to
the Tsinghua book store and look, you will see a display of two of
the most prominent books right now there, and one of them is the
speeches of Xi Jinping, and the other one, next to it, is a Chinese
translation of a book by Professor Ned Phelps called ‘‘Mass Flour-
Professor Phelps is a professor at Columbia University. He won
the Nobel Prize in Economics. And ‘‘Mass Flourishing’’ is about the
way in which modern capitalism is essential to enabling humans
to flourish in a society that values what he calls vitalism. That is
And so, yes, on the one hand, there are these seven taboos—
never given to us, never given to NYU Shanghai, I should say, but
I have heard about them. I have never seen them. But I seen them
referred to widely. So there is that document out there.
And I should say Premier Li Keqiang has spoken about Mr.
Phelps’ book and has spoken about its importance. Premier Li
Keqiang gave a talk in February in which he talked about Adam
Smith’s ‘‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’’ and it is importance to their
thinking about how the economy should develop.
There are mixed signals everywhere in China today. We at NYU
Shanghai operate consistent with our principles and no one has
told us not to.
. Not to belabor the point, but how much of a student’s
cost, total costs are borne by the government? And does that have
any impact as to how you bring students in, admit students into
. Sure. So the tuition for NYU Shanghai is the same
as the tuition at NYU in New York. It is about $45,000 per year.
. Is that in keeping with other colleges or universities
in China? Is that parallel to or far in excess of?
. You mean other Chinese universities?
VerDate 0ct 09 2002
14:25 Sep 29, 2015
. Wildly in excess. Wildly in excess of what it is. And
I believe that that is reflected in the nature of the education that
we provide. The kind of education we provide is very labor inten-
sive and it is very expensive. And I believe that it is actually re-
flected in the difference in the quality of the education that we pro-
Now, that level of tuition would be unaffordable to many of the
best Chinese students. And therefore one of the important condi-
tions of opening NYU Shanghai was that there be a subsidy from
the government of Shanghai that would enable Chinese students to
pay 100,000 Renminbi per year, which is about $17,000, instead of
$45,000. So that works out to about a $28,000 per-student subsidy
for all Chinese students, not only ones——
. Who actually pays that, the central government or
. Shanghai, city of Shanghai.
. City of Shanghai.
. City of Shanghai.
And so if you look at the overall structure of our budget, as I
said, NYU Shanghai is a tub on its own bottom. So no profits are
distributed to NYU in New York and no subsidy is demanded from
New York. Our budget is self-contained.
So when we are full grown, when we have 2,000 undergraduates,
the plan for the budget is that about 60 percent of the total cost
of operating the campus will come from tuition, about 25 percent
will come from government subsidy, and of which about 14 of that
25 percent is going to be going to financial aid for Chinese stu-
. Again, the tuition would be 60 percent. A large part
of that is from the government as well, so——
. No, no, no. The 60 percent is what is sometimes re-
ferred to as sticker price tuition. So that is tuition. Financial aid
reduces that cost for—is part of the expenditures against which
So another way to think about it, I guess, would be to say the
total budget will be about $200 million a year. About $60 million
of that, $55 million of that, will be going to financial aid. So that
means there is about $145 million left for operating costs. So I am
talking about percentages of the $200 million.
About 60 percent of that $200 million comes from tuition, about
25 percent will come from government, and the last 15 percent will
come from private philanthropy, and to the extent we operate exec-
utive education programs that are able to produce net surplus, that
will be part of the last 15 percent.
. Just one final question on the admissions.
. Are the students the children of the elite, are they
just any child, any young person, I should say, who aspires and has
the academic credentials to make it? And when the decisions are
made by your local board, are there Chinese nationals on that
board who are influencing this or is it done exclusively by NYU
coming out of New York?
. Exclusively by NYU.
. New York, I mean.
VerDate 0ct 09 2002
14:25 Sep 29, 2015
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