Bet you didn’t know that Tisch had a graduate campus in Singapore. Well, neither did anyone else, and since it opened five years ago, Tisch School of the Arts Asia “from the start faced considerable financial challenges and required increasingly unsustainable annual subsidies from Tisch,” said Tisch Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell in a statement. Today she officially announced that it is “not possible to maintain Tisch Asia without, in fact, increasing the annual subsidy beyond what is an already unsustainable level.”
During its brief existence, the Tisch Asia campus has offered Masters of Fine Art degrees in four areas: Film, Dramatic Writing, Animation and Digital Arts and International Media Producing. The campus is officially slated to close in 2014, meaning some students will have to be transitioned to New York in order to complete their coursework. According to Film Biz Asia, Singapore’s Media Development Authority will be offering Media Industry Scholarships to help with this transition.
It’s no secret that NYU has made great strides in recent years to expand itself and further advance its presence as a “Global University”- with campuses all over Europe, as well as in Accra, Shanghai and, of course, Abu Dhabi. However, all of these programs focus specifically on undergraduate education, and only one of them (to date) is a four-year, degree-granting campus. While Tisch Asia’s “academic and artistic model” may have “proved itself,” according to Schmidt Campbell, one might indeed have a harder time making the decision, as an adult seeking a terminal, professional degree rather than a wide-eyed 18-year old hungry to explore the world, choosing to receive training in filmmaking or playwriting so far away from where one actually plans to practice these professions.
The dean, however does see the potential in a partnership with Singapore for the benefit of undergraduate students. Such plans were in the works before the campus was found to be totally unsustainable. However, Alvin Tan, assistant managing director of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) said, “Notwithstanding the winding down of Tisch Asia’s operations, EDB remains open to future collaborations with NYU and Tisch.”