The University of Macau (UM) held the Joint Meeting of the University Assembly (UA) and University Council (UC) for the 2022/2023 academic year in its Ho Yin Conference Hall on 29 June. Ho Iat Seng, chief executive of the Macao SAR, chancellor of UM, and chair of the UA, presided over the meeting. He stressed the need to learn and implement the spirit contained in President Xi Jinping’s letter of reply to higher education institutions and science and technology workers in Macao last month, promote technological innovation and commercialisation of research results, and nurture more outstanding talent who love China and Macao.

The chancellor expressed his expectations for the future development of UM in four areas. In terms of enhancing talent development, he expressed hope that the university would take the initiative to offer more programmes related to key industries, so as to build a sustainable talent pool for Macao’s development in the long run. The university should also serve as a bridge connecting non-tertiary education, provide training for primary and secondary school teachers, and launch training programmes to nurture talent in technological innovation, in order to support the SAR government in the early development of local talent starting from non-tertiary education. In terms of empowering Macao’s ‘1+4’ strategy of economic diversification, the chancellor said that the university, with a stronger sense of mission and urgency, should accelerate the progress of commercialising research results through practical actions. The university should also capitalise on the advantages offered by the country, integrate the elements of technological innovation between Macao and mainland China for coordinated development, strengthen collaborations with universities and institutions in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in innovative research and technology R&D, and accelerate the commercialisation of research results in the Greater Bay Area. In addition, the university should take advantage of the development opportunities offered by the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin to make greater contributions to the country and the SAR by nurturing talent and undertaking key research projects.

In terms of increasing the degree of internationalisation and marketisation, the university should strengthen collaboration with internationally renowned higher education institutions to offer more attractive programmes, so as to attract more international students to study in Macao, and provide more opportunities for local students to go on exchange to other countries or regions. In addition, he expressed hope that the university would increase efforts to hold more research and academic exchanges, research training, and academic conferences to improve its academic quality and play a role in promoting Macao. The university should also actively make use of its academic strength to support the SAR government’s talent development plan, and step up efforts in the research and the promotion of Chinese culture to enhance the understanding of the country and cultural identity of the Macao community, especially young people. In terms of enhancing the university’s management system, as the university continues to increase its faculty size and student numbers, it should adhere to the culture of integrity and efficiency in the allocation and use of resources, and establish a comprehensive supervision mechanism for administrative governance and financial management, with the aim of optimising resource allocation, strengthening cost control, and improving administrative efficiency and effectiveness. The university should continue to practise frugality so as to make the most of the resources.

UC Chair Lam Kam Seng Peter summarised the work of the UC over the past few years. According to him, in terms of promoting industry-academia collaboration, the UC has been focusing on bringing in social participation to facilitate the matching between research results and potential business partners, and some of the companies incubated by UM in recent years have entered a stable development phase. The university will continue to foster an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship, and to raise the profile of research and innovation projects. In addition, the university has launched a number of new degree programmes, expanded its faculty size and student numbers, and improved its hardware and software environment in order to meet the demand for talent as required under the SAR government’s ‘1+4’ strategy for economic diversification.

UM Rector Yonghua Song said that in recent years, UM has expanded its student body, and its academic standing and international reputation have seen improvement. Over the past year, the university has focused on enhancing its talent development model and interdisciplinary integration to meet the SAR’s development positioning and cultivate the talent needed for social development. The university has also accelerated the establishment of major international and regional research platforms to improve the mechanism for industry-academia collaboration and the commercialisation of research results. In addition, Song also outlined UM’s efforts to establish cooperation with international and mainland higher education institutions. In the next phase, the university will actively enhance its administrative and financial management systems, continue to develop its campus, and increase its efforts to optimise teaching, research, external cooperation, community services, and administration.

Participants also held in-depth discussions on other topics such as postgraduate training models, strategies for attracting international students, and the layout and development of disciplines. Attendees of the joint meeting also included Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U, UA and UC members, and representatives of relevant departments of UM.

Source: University Council Office