Tisch Asia Student Opens Up About Program


Via nyu.edu

A shot from a Tisch Asia student Quester Hannah’s (‘14) second year film ‘King of Guangzhou.’

By Diamond Naga Siu, News Editor

Three Tisch Asia alums are suing NYU over claims that the university charged high tuition fees without a quality education.

However, university spokesperson John Beckman said that students at Tisch Asia are taught the same curriculum as Tisch in New York.

“It was a robust, graduate level program in the arts, and artistically, the school was a success with a number of students winning prestigious student film awards,” Beckman said. “[The university] did not work financially and operated at a steep deficit precisely because NYU was providing the students with an excellent education that cost more than tuition dollars brought in.”

He said that the university maintained its quality education even after the finances did not work to NYU’s benefit, so he thinks that this suit is
without merit.

To get a better idea of the Tisch Asia environment, we spoke with present Tisch Asia  student Bumsue Chun about his experiences with the university. He is one of 30 students from Tisch Asia still completing their thesis projects, and he is set to graduate this year.

Chun said that during his last year, the remaining students were the only ones occupying the entire Tisch Asia building, accompanied by seven or eight professors who now communicate remotely.

Washington Square News: NYU is facing some serious allegations regarding failing to provide a quality education at Tisch Asia. As a Tisch Asia alum, what do you think of these claims?

Bumsue Chun: I understand their emotional standpoint. They had certain expectations coming to school, and they felt like they didn’t get what they thought they deserved. And honestly, I don’t know why this allegation is surfacing now. The school is closed now, so I don’t think the purpose is to keep the school open and correct what they thought the school had done wrong.

WSN: Could you tell me about your experience as a Tisch Asia student?

BC: I can only speak for the film department. My expectation from Tisch Asia was to go to an American film school in Singapore and to be able to make movies in Asia as opposed to in a Western setting. I have been to both campuses, and in my opinion, Tisch Asia offered a much better environment — I couldn’t be that cool guy sipping morning coffee in a dirty New York train to get to school and debate how some new films from Sundance weren’t politically correct enough with my other artist friend living in Bushwick drinking a craft beer. Cleaner and quieter commuting helped me focus on work.

WSN: As the first degree-granting campus outside the Washington Square campus, could you talk about the types of resources that Tisch Asia provided its students?

BC: Again, I can only speak for the film department. We had editing labs, two sound stages, equipment, two screening rooms and classrooms. We could come in mostly anytime to hang out or work and get food delivered for late night editing sessions.

We had allotments, equipment and crew support from classmates for productions. I don’t know what exact kind of resource is supposed to be offered to entirely qualify “NYU level of education,” but I never felt like the school lacked in terms of physical or educational resource.

WSN: Any final thoughts on Tisch Asia?

BC: Many people have gone to great festivals with their school projects. Also, a lot of us met our best friends or even a life partner in the course of
the program.

It was a short lived but academically successful program with a lot of friendship and love.

I respect and understand those leading the allegation against NYU, but they should also respect the memory and the attachment their classmates have to the life they had in Singapore and the campus that is now all in the past.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 11 print edition. Email Diamond Naga Siu at [email protected]