BEIJING - The heart of our education is friendship, said Ralph Waller, vice chancellor of the University of Oxford, in Beijing on Monday.
The English gentleman paid his first visit to China this week to introduce a new program to identify experienced talents in the Asia-Pacific region as potential visiting scholars.
The program is open to any senior personnel in education, business, as well as entrepreneurs.
During an interview with Xinhua, Ralph explained that "professors and students are both on the same side. Professors are not constantly assessing the students, or vice versa. They work together."
If you want to build a good university, you need good professors to attract good students, he said.
"The friendship between the professors and students [...] makes a big difference."
In his opinion, students get to know their professors very well in British universities. "Students are encouraged and supported."
Oxford has 38 different colleges. These colleges are much more independent than, say, Cambridge University, where students share libraries and laboratories.
The largest number of overseas students at Oxford come from America, and then China.
Ralph noted that Oxford wants the best students in the world, and although not targeting anywhere in particular, "I guess many of them would be Chinese."
Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged the education exchanges between the two countries last week during his visit to Britain.
"Education is not just about reading, writing and thinking. It's about making friends and sparkling ideas," Ralph said.(Xinhua)