Afrika Bambaataa, the South Bronx hip-hop legend and current visiting scholar at Cornell.

Afrika Bambaataa, the South Bronx hip-hop legend and current visiting scholar at Cornell.


You might wonder what a veteran director in Nigeria—home to the world’s fastest-growing movie industry—would have to learn from the New York Film Academy, a trade school best known to late-night cable viewers for its goofy commercials featuring celebrity endorser Brett Ratner. Yet last year, Ishaq was among roughly 250 students who took part in an unusual cultural exchange, as the Union Square-based film school dispatched a delegation of instructors on an entrepreneurial mission to Africa.
The month-long moviemaking course, publicized on the front pages of Nigerian newspapers, was just one component of the for-profit trade school’s drive to turn itself into a global education brand.
The academy enrolls around 5,000 students annually, 1,000 of them in full-time degree programs, and a heavy proportion of them come from abroad. In addition to its locations in New York and Los Angeles, the academy opened satellite campuses in Abu Dhabi and Australia over the last few years, and frequently stages short-term programs in emerging movie markets like India, Brazil and China.
Wherever it travels, the New York Film Academy follows a philosophy of “open enrollment,” admitting nearly anyone who is able to pay its tuition and fees, which range from $1,500 for some one-week courses up to $20,000 a semester for its two-year M.F.A. tracks. Recently, the school has been the target of online complaints, accusations that its owners reap millions while offering degrees with little benefit. But overseas, the fine print of issues like accreditation command less attention than academy’s august-sounding name, and the Hollywood stars to which it claims a connection.

How the New York Film Academy discovered gold in the developing world | by Andrew Rice | Capital New York

You might wonder what a veteran director in Nigeria—home to the world’s fastest-growing movie industry—would have to learn from the New York Film Academy, a trade school best known to late-night cable viewers for its goofy commercials featuring celebrity endorser Brett Ratner. Yet last year, Ishaq was among roughly 250 students who took part in an unusual cultural exchange, as the Union Square-based film school dispatched a delegation of instructors on an entrepreneurial mission to Africa.

The month-long moviemaking course, publicized on the front pages of Nigerian newspapers, was just one component of the for-profit trade school’s drive to turn itself into a global education brand.

The academy enrolls around 5,000 students annually, 1,000 of them in full-time degree programs, and a heavy proportion of them come from abroad. In addition to its locations in New York and Los Angeles, the academy opened satellite campuses in Abu Dhabi and Australia over the last few years, and frequently stages short-term programs in emerging movie markets like India, Brazil and China.

Wherever it travels, the New York Film Academy follows a philosophy of “open enrollment,” admitting nearly anyone who is able to pay its tuition and fees, which range from $1,500 for some one-week courses up to $20,000 a semester for its two-year M.F.A. tracks. Recently, the school has been the target of online complaints, accusations that its owners reap millions while offering degrees with little benefit. But overseas, the fine print of issues like accreditation command less attention than academy’s august-sounding name, and the Hollywood stars to which it claims a connection.

How the New York Film Academy discovered gold in the developing world | by Andrew Rice | Capital New York

"You can’t prove that a teacher is not effective," said the mayor. "But it’s like the Supreme Court, I forget which justice said it, he said, ‘You know, I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it.’ Well, same thing.”

"There definitely was an element of teacher-bashing going on." - Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, on Bloomberg’s State of the City Speech,in which he offers teachers a carrot and a stick.

"There definitely was an element of teacher-bashing going on." - Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, on Bloomberg’s State of the City Speech,in which he offers teachers a carrot and a stick.

"It’s been free through World War I, World War II…" Added Bruce, "The Great Depression." "The Great Depression," she seconded. "Is our country poorer now? Where are all the people who through all those generations supported this kind of unique education?"

Cooper Union’s identity crisis: What would it mean for the famously free school to charge tuition?

"If you’re super smart, are inventing the kind of technology that powers startups, and come from a background that’s not a privileged middle-class American family, then a university may be one of the most powerful tools to put you in contact with the social world that will help your business succeed. And hey, you might even learn something while you’re there."

— Anil Dash, who wrote a post in support of the Applied Sciences NYC plan.

What these two New York-based universities are attempting—essentially to  slip the constraints of Manhattan by actually, physically expanding  across the Earth—is not in any way normal.

What these two New York-based universities are attempting—essentially to slip the constraints of Manhattan by actually, physically expanding across the Earth—is not in any way normal.

Launching Sept. 7.

Launching Sept. 7.

Eva Moskowitz, the famously combative charter-school champion and former  city councilmember who is now C.E.O. of the Success Charter Network, is making a play for Brownstone New York.

Eva Moskowitz, the famously combative charter-school champion and former city councilmember who is now C.E.O. of the Success Charter Network, is making a play for Brownstone New York.