As pointed out by a New York Times article last week, NYU is one of many colleges currently investing heavily in science, technology, engineering and math — also known as STEM — fields. While NYU’s seemingly never-ending Greenwich Village expansion has been labeled problematic by both this publication and city residents, this particular investment is a giant leap forward for NYU. Currently, NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering — which focuses solely on STEM disciplines — is not ranked as favorably as the rest of the university’s other schools are. Therefore, this investment is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that NYU offers all of its students the outstanding education it advertises.
NYU’s expansion into Brooklyn follows a national trend of universities, including Columbia University and Cornell University, that are greatly increasing investments in science and technology institutes on their campuses. A recemt initiative expands the Tandon campus by adding new audio labs, virtual reality rooms, exhibition and lecture spaces and 1,100 new students by 2022. In addition, a study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that while women are well-represented in fields like biology and mathematics, they earn less than 20 percent of computer science, engineering, and physics undergraduate degrees. Yet despite this gender disparity, NYU remains in the top ten colleges for women in STEM. NYU’s investment in science and technology development, therefore, will not only increase STEM presence within the city but will also hopefully promote the number of women in STEM fields.
This investment is clearly an attempt to raise Tandon’s world rankings, which are much lower than the rest of NYU’s schools. According to U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, NYU ranks 63rd in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, which is drastically different from our rankings in Business Programs and Best Undergraduate Drama programs where we take the 12th and fourth place spots respectively. The hope is that the sciences at NYU, starting with Tandon, will be improved from the investment. But this STEM investment has raised concerns on how much funding would be redirected from liberal arts and entrepreneurial programs. However, NYU has dedicated time to creating unique engineering programs that combine creativity with STEM to help bridge the gap, including Enterprise Learning. The investment will go toward bettering a wide variety of entrepreneurial programs that support engineering-based businesses.
With this massive investment in STEM fields, NYU has made its commitment extremely clear. The university’s continued efforts to better Tandon will in turn help to improve both the school and the gender disparity within the engineering field as a whole. NYU’s considerable investment will help to create a more well-rounded university and make it a top school for a broader range of majors.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 27 print edition. Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected]