On the morning of April 19, Zhejiang University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) held an online meeting, kicking off a series of celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the cooperation between the two universities. President of Zhejiang University WU Zhaohui, Vice President HE Lianzhen, Chancellor of UIUC Robert J. Jones, Vice Chancellor Susan Martinis, Vice Chancellor Sean Garrick and representatives of relevant departments of the two universities gathered in the cloud to recall friendship and seek common development.
Professor WU Zhaohui said that he was very glad to meet with Chancellor Robert J. Jones and colleagues from UIUC “in the cloud" to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the university-level partnership. He pointed out that in the face of increasingly prominent global issues and increasingly complex international situations, Zhejiang University adheres to the concept of open cooperation and continuously consolidates and promotes teaching and research cooperation with global partners. Zhejiang University-UIUC Institute (ZJUI) has developed to be a flagship achievement of cooperation between the two universities and a benchmark for Sino-foreign cooperative education. ZJU-UIUC Joint Research Center focuses on human health, energy and environment, and sustainable manufacturing, where the two universities work together to contribute to solving major global challenges. Facing the future, Zhejiang University looks forward to working with UIUC to explore new cooperative growth aspects, deepen cooperation and enhance global influence in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Professor Robert J. Jones, Chancellor of UIUC, said that although the pandemic has affected international mobility, it has not halted the progress of cooperation between the two universities. He recalled that in the past 20 years, the two universities have gradually developed from signing a Memorandum of Understanding to practical cooperation in multiple fields, and have achieved remarkable results in teaching, scientific research, innovation and other aspects. The establishment of ZJUI has made the cooperation between the two universities closer, which has now developed into a paradigm for innovative and international cooperation in global higher education. Robert J. Jones is full of confidence in the prospect of cooperation between the two universities in the next two decades and beyond, and looks forward to further building a close and sustainable cooperative relationship based on openness, mutual trust, and mutual benefit.
Professor Lee Der-Horng, Dean of ZJUI, Professor K.C. Ting, and Professor Xinlei Wang of UIUC Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering reviewed the history and highlights of cooperation between the two universities. Professor HE Lianzhen, Vice President of Zhejiang University, and Professor Susan Martinis, Vice Chancellor of UIUC, pictured the collaboration prospects in the next two decades, and hoped for everlasting friendship between the two universities and joint contribution to building a better world.
Afterwards, Professor LIU Ying, Dean of College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science of Zhejiang University, Professor ZHAO Heping, Vice Dean of College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, and Professor Rashid Bashir, Dean of Grainger College of Engineering, also shared their suggestions for cooperation in related fields. At the end of the meeting, President WU Zhaohui and Chancellor Robert J. Jones once again expressed their sincere congratulations on the 20th anniversary of the cooperation between the two universities and looked forward to meeting again after the pandemic.
Following this celebration, the two universities will hold a series of academic seminars on topics such as smart cities, smart agriculture, and climate change, as well as student exchange activities to further enhance understanding and deepen friendship.
Zhejiang University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign established an inter-University partnership in July 2002. In
the past two decades, the two universities have carried out multi-level cooperation in various fields and successively established cooperative institutions such as ZJUI and ZJU-UIUC Joint Research Center, setting a model for Sino-US higher education cooperation.