Hoping to initiate the "catfish effect," NYU will be the first American university to open a branch in China.

NYU Shanghai will be an entity operated by both NYU's administration and China's Shanghai-based East China Normal University (ECNU). The venture represents a trend that we have seen in the Arabian Gulf, where American and European educational institutions are brought in to elevate educational standards, and be paid handsomely for it.

In terms of making a splash, educational experts in China are optimistic about how foreign universities will impact educational reform at large:

“Educational experts hope that the introduction of foreign education resources can bring about the “catfish effect”. As a result, competition can prompt domestic universities, which have been criticized for bureaucracy and academic plagiarism, to carry out reforms.”

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