California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty participated today (Oct. 24) in an international forum in Washington, D.C., intended to foster educational exchanges between the United States and China.

Welty was among 20 university presidents (10 from each country) at a roundtable discussion on Global Universities in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities. It is part of the 2007 George Bush-China-U.S. Relations Conference under way this week in Washington.

The forum was sponsored by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and the China Educational Association for International Exchange.

The presidents signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work on joint programs of mutual benefit and discussed formation of a network of public research universities in the two countries.

“Signing this document is another of our university’s many efforts to help our students, faculty, alumni and regional residents be good global citizens,” said Welty. “Each year, Fresno State offers about 100 different kinds of overseas opportunities – study tours, exchanges, fellowships, internships – to experience other cultures and perspectives.”

In addition, he said, “Our campus is home to a broadly diverse group of students, faculty and staff, many from outside the United States, all of whom help us to learn more about the world we share.”

Founded in 1887, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges is the nation’s oldest higher education association. It’s 215 members are dedicated to supporting excellence in teaching, research and public service for an enrollment of more than 3.6 million students.

The China Education Association for International Exchange is the largest non-governmental organization for international educational exchange in China.