WUHAN, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Robert J. Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, said his university welcomes Chinese students and scholars and will not retreat from international engagement "because of any particular issue going on in the world."
Zimmer on Monday gave Xinhua an exclusive interview during his visit to Wuhan University, which aimed to pursue further academic and cultural collaboration and exchange with the Chinese university.
"We make an effort to make a welcoming environment for all international students," said Zimmer.
"We're very welcoming Chinese students and scholars. We think it adds a lot of value for us to have Chinese students and scholars in Chicago. And we want our students and scholars to come to China as well," said Zimmer.
He also said one of the purposes of carrying out multi-field cooperation with Chinese universities is to "understand other cultures" and "this is very important in particular for the United States and China."
To expand cooperation between universities from the U.S. and China, Zimmer suggested that there should be "a lot of conversation, a lot of visits and a lot of talks."
He added that "having opportunities where people can meet and talk and discuss and see the extent to which there are great opportunities is a key."
"There are many different cultures, histories and traditions in the world and they all have an impact on the present. It's very important for people to learn how to understand other cultures, other societies, other histories, and what they imply about the present. So we want a lot of our students in Chicago to have some experience with China," he said.
"Universities are a place where people come to get an education and where there's research taking place and dialogue is absolutely critical to any good and effective education," he said.
During Zimmer's two-day visit, the University of Chicago and Wuhan University renewed their agreements on pursuing academic and cultural collaboration and exchanges.
The two universities will explore the potential for activities such as the exchange of students and faculty members, joint research in areas of mutual academic interest as well as sharing of research, academic curricula and other information, according to a memorandum of understanding signed by the two sides.