Chancellor Zuo Led A Delegation to Visit Partners in Europe
October 17,2014

From October 6 to 14, Chancellor Zuo Wei led a delegation to Rothamsted Research (RR) in the UK, Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Sweden and the Department of Land Economy of the University of Cambridge in the UK, aiming to deepen cooperation with NAU strategic partners in Europe, and to explore more opportunities for international exchange and cooperation at a higher level and covering more areas. During the visit, Zuo Wei signed the Letter of Intent with WUR Rector on exploring Joint Research, Education and Training Activities. The visit can also be highlighted by the establishment of formal inter-institutional partnership with SLU. The delegation also includes Liu Yingjun, director of the Office of Chancellor, Liu Zhimin, director of the Office of Development Planning, Zhang Hongsheng, director of the Office of International Relations, and Zhao Fangjie, professor of the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Achim Dobermann, director of RR met with the delegation. Quoted from Zuo Wei, based on the good cooperation between the two institutions during the last decade, NAU will prioritize in exploring innovation in cooperative modes to expand and deepen cooperation in joint student training, scientific research and extension with Rothamsted. The delegation also met with Dr. Simon Vaughan, head of International Programmes, Dr. Martin Parry, head of Department of Biology and Crop Science, and Dr. Andrew Spencer, head of Knowledge Exchange and Transfer. They discussed over Rothamsted’s development and planning in recent years, including the international strategies, achievements Rothamsted has had in partnership with China and future plans, research strategies, and commercialization of knowledge. The delegation visited the Experimental Site Broadbalk with 160-years’ history of experiment, Soil Sample Museum and GMO Experimental Field.

During the visit at WUR, Zuo Wei signed the Letter of Intent with WUR on co-establishing “a joint center for teaching, scientific research and training programs. It is a follow-up achievement of a visit by WUR Rector Professor Martin Kropff to NAU in September. Both sides envisioned the general goal of the Joint Center to build linkage among university, government and enterprises to advance education, research and extension of both institutions. Both sides further discussed the mission, the operation mechanism, and the main tasks of the Joint Center. The delegation also visited the library, UniFarm and Food Valley.

During the visit to SLU, Professor Lena Andersson-Eklund, Vice-President in charge of research and Professor Johan Schnurer, Vice-President in charge of international cooperation met with the delegation. After introducing SLU's history, development planning, international strategy, and the proposal of University Alliance for global challenges, Professor Schnurer extended an invitation to NAU to join the alliance. “The alliance aims to promote exchanges and cooperation among top universities in agriculture and life sciences at three levels, namely university leadership, researchers and doctoral students”, he explained. Quoted from Zuo Wei, NAU has a long-standing partnership with some alliance members, including Cornell University, the University of California, Davis, and Wageningen University. NAU is also looking forward to new but strong partnership with SLU to solve challenges facing the world.

The delegation also visited the Department of Land Economy and Cambridge Conservation Initiative at the University of Cambridge.