On April 19, Zhejiang University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) held an online meeting, marking the kick-off for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of partnership. Present at the meeting were ZJU President WU Zhaohui, ZJU Vice President HE Lianzhen, UIUC Chancellor Robert J. Jones, UIUC Vice Chancellor Susan Martinis, UIUC Vice Chancellor Sean Garrick, and representatives from the two universities. The meeting was co-chaired by LI Min, director of the ZJU Office of Global Engagement, and Sammer Jones, director for the UIUC Global Relations. UIUC Vice Provost Reitumetse Mabokela delivered a welcome speech.
WU Zhaohui expressed his great pleasure to celebrate two decades of partnership between two institutions with Robert J. Jones and his colleagues at UIUC. He pointed out that in the face of the increasingly prominent global issues and geopolitical complexity, ZJU adheres to the concept of openness and cooperation and continues to consolidate and promote cooperation with global partners in teaching and research. The Zhejiang University-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute (ZJUI) has evolved into a flagship achievement of cooperation between the two universities and a benchmark for China-foreign cooperation in education. The Dynamic Research Enterprise for Multidisciplinary Engineering Sciences (DREMES), which focuses on health, energy, environment and sustainable manufacturing, is committed to tackling major global challenges. “ZJU looks forward to exploring new growth opportunities for cooperation with UIUC regarding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, thereby deepening cooperation and promoting global impact,” said President Wu.
Robert J. Jones said that although Covid-19 has affected international mobility, it hasn’t halted the pace of cooperation between the two universities. He reviewed the progress in the past two decades from the signing of MoU to substantial cooperation in multiple domains between the two universities. The establishment of ZJUI has brought the two universities closer together, and it has now developed into a global model for innovative and international cooperation in the field of higher education. “I’m more excited about what will be able to be accomplished together in the next twenty years and beyond,” Chancellor Jones was confident about the outlook for future cooperation.
LEE Der-Horng, dean of ZJUI, K. C. Ting from ZJUI and Xinlei Wang from UIUC reviewed the history and highlights of the partnership between the two universities. HE Lianzhen and Susan Martinis painted a blueprint for the cooperation between the two universities in the coming 20 years, in the hope that the partnership between the two universities will be alive and well, thus making contributions to building a better world.
Later, LIU Ying, dean of the ZJU College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, ZHAO Heping, vice dean of the ZJU College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, and Rashid Bashir, dean of the UIUC College of Engineering, offered their suggestions on cooperation in relevant fields.
After this event, the two universities will host a series of seminars on smart cities, smart agriculture and climate change, and hold student exchange activities.