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University links with WeWork to support undergraduates in China

October 1, 2020
Layers of contemporary financial skyscrapers in Central Business District, Hong Kong.The Central Business District, Hong Kong, China. (Getty Images photo)

The University of Rochester’s Office for Global Engagement and Center for Education Abroad have recently joined with global space provider WeWork to provide work and study areas to  undergraduates throughout China who are remote this semester.

Under this new agreement, full-time undergraduates in Arts, Sciences & Engineering (AS&E) have “All Access” to WeWork’s flexible workspaces this semester, allowing them to continue their degree in their home country without interruption.

“Our undergraduates from China represent the largest portion of our international student body, and they have been among the most affected by COVID-related travel obstacles and have had to deal with the most uncertainty when it comes to continuing their University studies this semester,” says Jane Gatewood, University vice provost for global engagement. “As a University, we want to support all of our international students in their persistence to overcome these barriers and continue their Rochester education from abroad. WeWork was a great fit for us to offer our students convenient, reliable, and safe space in many locations throughout China. It allows us to assist our students from afar until they can safely return to campus.”

Each WeWork space is designed to provide students access to modern facilities with high-speed internet, and amenities including updated technologies, coffee and refreshment stations, clean and comfortable workspaces, and printing stations. There are close to 90 WeWork locations throughout China that Rochester students can access immediately.

“WeWork is uniquely positioned to support educational institutions in their efforts to improve the remote learning experience for students this fall through our flexible workspace platform,” says WeWork Vice President of Business Development Derek Feinman. “We are honored to be partnering with the University of Rochester and providing a flexible workspace solution that helps decentralize classrooms and ensures equitable access to physical and digital learning environments for students.”

Through the agreement, AS&E undergraduates in China receive all access to “hot desk” space at WeWork. A WeWork hot desk allows students to work from anywhere in the common areas at WeWork locations, with access to each location’s amenities. WeWork and the University
have also worked together to ensure the spaces that Rochester students access stay current with COVID-19 safety protocols, such as modified shared spaces and arrangements for physical distancing, and cleaned and sanitized equipment that prioritizes the health, safety, and well-being of students in these spaces.

University officials believe that if this model is successful, it could be explored in more international regions outside of China.

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Category: Student Life

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