The Macao SAR Government held the 2023 Decorations on 19 January, Medals and Certificates of Merit Awards Ceremony, where Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng presented awards to the recipients. Yonghua Song, rector of the University of Macau (UM), was awarded the Medal of Merit – Education in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the education sector.

Song expressed gratitude to the Macao SAR Government for acknowledging his contributions, adding that the Medal of Merit is an honour for UM as a whole. Thanks to the support of the country, the SAR Government and all sectors of society, as well as the concerted efforts of all UM students and faculty, the university has achieved satisfactory results in talent cultivation, research innovation, and other areas in recent years. UM will continue to adhere to its development direction of ‘being firmly rooted in Macao, jointly developing the Greater Bay Area, integrating with the nation, and going global’. It will actively support the strategies of the SAR Government and nurture high-calibre talent for Macao, particularly in fields such as healthcare, high technology, modern finance, culture and tourism, and MICE. Furthermore, the university will produce more research outcomes and foster their commercialisation, thus making more contributions to society across various aspects.

Song currently serves as the ninth rector of UM. He is also a chair professor in electrical engineering at UM and the director of the State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City.

Among Song’s achievements, he has made systematic and innovative contributions to the safe and efficient operation of low carbon power systems. He has received many national and international awards and honours in recognition of his internationally acclaimed accomplishments. Song was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), a member of the Academia Europaea, and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was also awarded DSc by Brunel University, Honorary DEng by the University of Bath, and Honorary DSc by the University of Edinburgh. He won a second prize of the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award and the prize for Scientific and Technological Progress from the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation in 2020, the Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Prize in 2022, and the Third National Innovation Excellence Award in 2023.

With extensive leadership experience at overseas and Chinese universities, Song has held positions such as pro-vice-chancellor at Brunel University, pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Liverpool, assistant president at Tsinghua University, and executive vice president at Zhejiang University. Since assuming the role of rector at UM in 2018, Song has overseen the moderate expansion of the university, leading to continuous improvements in teaching quality and significant advancements in international reputation. UM has consistently improved its rankings in both the Times Higher Education (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings for six consecutive years, with the university being ranked 193rd and 254th respectively in 2024 and making its debut among the top 200 and top 300 universities worldwide. The university now holds a leading position among higher education institutions in Macao and ranks among the top 20 in the Greater China region.

Source: Communications Office