The University of Macau (UM) held the Joint Meeting of the University Assembly (UA) and University Council (UC) for the 2021/2022 academic year in its Ho Yin Conference Hall on 18 August. Ho Iat Seng, chief executive of the Macao SAR, chancellor of UM, and chair of the UA, presided over the meeting. In his speech, the chancellor stressed that the SAR government had announced the second five-year plan of Macao, which would serve as a general blueprint for the city’s future development and would create conditions for higher education marketisation as well as research results transfer. UM should build itself on the practical needs of China and Macao and contribute to the sustainable development of Macao’s economy and society through providing quality education, conducting key research studies, developing an innovative mode of industry-academia collaboration, and offering community services.

At the meeting, the chancellor shared his views on the development of the university in five areas. In terms of strengthening talent cultivation, he expressed hope that the university would create branded disciplines and programmes with clear strengths and characteristics and jointly cultivate talent with renowned universities in different places to enhance the quality of the pool of talent. In terms of strengthening industry-academia collaboration, he expressed hope that the university would continue to drive forward research innovation and research results transfer and contribute to economic diversification of Macao with a strong sense of responsibility and urgency. The university should also grasp the opportunities brought by the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and actively improve joint research platforms in key industries to develop an integrated mode of industry-academia collaboration. 

In terms of serving the Macao society, the university needs to further develop its role as a high-end think tank, attach importance to research on hot topics related to Macao’s economy and society, and provide advice and suggestions for policymaking and the development of the SAR government. In addition, the university should continue its work in offering leadership training courses for civil servants and promoting the constitution of China as well as the Basic Law of Macao. In terms of optimising UM’s administrative system, while improving the management of the university, the chancellor expressed hope that the university would further explore the scope for market-based development. The university should also adhere to the principle of frugality and strengthen long-term planning and coordination in the use of its budget. In terms of the implementation of the university’s five-year development plan, the university should implement every task well, follow the plan thoroughly, and continuously improve its standard of operation as a university.

UC Chair Lam Kam Seng summarised the work of the UC in the 2021/2022 academic year. According to him, the university in recent years has been making efforts to strengthen education and the collaborative development of all parties involved in the process of research and entrepreneurship. The UC not only encourages UM faculty members, students, and alumni to incubate their start-up projects through its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Funding Scheme, but also motivates the university to engage more proactively with industry practitioners and investors, with the goal of enhancing the visibility of research results at the university. In addition, in the past year, the UC focused on the internal audit and monitoring of the university with a view to enhancing its management effectiveness. 

UM Rector Yonghua Song summarised the university’s five-year development plan approved last year, which has set clear goals for the university in improving the quality of talent cultivation, promoting the development of various academic disciplines, and enhancing the standards of research innovation, among others. According to him, the university will continue to improve its curricular system and programmes, deepen its integrated education model, promote the training of professionals who love China and Macao, and actively encourage and assist students in participating in learning activities and practices in the Greater Bay Area. In addition, the university is accelerating the establishment of important research platforms at national and regional levels to respond to the development needs of the region. The university is also actively participating in the development of the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin via the Zhuhai UM Science & Technology Research Institute.

Participants also held in-depth discussions on other related topics such as the development of academic disciplines, the layout of industries in the future, talent introduction, and the optimisation of the university’s administrative system. Attendees of the joint meeting also included Ao Ieong U, secretary for social affairs and culture; UA and UC members, and representatives of relevant departments of UM.