Today (18 August) is the first day of the new academic year at the University of Macau (UM). The university welcomed over 3,900 new students. In line with the government’s measures to prevent and control the epidemic, UM Rector Yonghua Song delivered a welcome speech to the students through a video. According to him, the university will fully support and assist the students in all aspects of their development and create an environment conducive to their personal growth and academic development.

This year has seen a record number of applications for undergraduate programmes at UM, up by around 20 per cent from the previous year. They include applications from 35 overseas countries, an increase of around 34 per cent compared to the previous year. Over 1,900 new students have enrolled in undergraduate programmes for the 2022/2023 academic year. They include outstanding students from Macao, mainland China, and overseas, with some of them coming from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Portuguese-speaking countries. The university has also admitted outstanding local secondary school graduates with different talents through the Principals’ Recommended Admission Scheme, the Chinese and Portuguese Bilingual Talent Nurturing Scheme, and the Outstanding Student-Athletes Admission Scheme. In addition, to support the development of Macao’s healthcare industry and to nurture more professionals for Macao, UM’s Faculty of Health Sciences has launched the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology programme in this academic year. The programme aims to nurture scientific thinking skills among students and to prepare them for further studies or careers in pharmaceutical research and development.

This year, UM has appropriately expanded the postgraduate student body and the number of postgraduate students is growing steadily based on the needs of society. The number of applications for postgraduate programmes has increased by 30 per cent from the previous year as a result of the university’s strategy to enhance the quality of postgraduate students and postgraduate education. More than 2,000 new students have enrolled in postgraduate programmes for the 2022/2023 academic year. In terms of the nurturing of master’s students, UM will continue to offer taught programmes based on market demand, serve the strategic needs of the country and society, and promote education that combines research and application. UM has launched three postgraduate programmes in the new academic year, namely Master of Science in Global Public Health, Master of Science in Internet of Things, and Master of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience, with the aim of nurturing professionals in related fields to promote social development in various directions. In addition, the university this year has launched the University of Macau Scholarship for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Programmes to encourage outstanding local students to apply for master’s degree programmes in STEM disciplines. 39 students have been awarded the scholarship.

In terms of the nurturing of PhD students, UM will continue to support research and nurture talent in the key areas set out in the university’s strategic research layout. The university will also continue to strengthen collaborations with other higher education institutions and make use of high-level joint programmes. Through offering the UM Macao PhD Scholarship and UM PhD Teaching and Research Assistant scheme, the university this year attracted a cohort of outstanding students to apply for its PhD programmes. More than 1,300 applications for scholarships and assistantships have been received. After a rigorous selection process, 30 outstanding students have been awarded PhD scholarships and 218 students have been awarded PhD teaching and research assistantships.

In his welcome speech, Rector Song said: ‘Although the epidemic will inevitably affect our daily lives and studies, we must adapt to the changes and overcome the difficulties with a positive attitude. The university will create a safer, more secure, and more friendly environment conducive to your personal growth and academic development. For new undergraduate students, you will face a change in your learning style as university studies require you to take the initiative and be more proactive. I hope that you will further improve your level of knowledge and learning ability, and will actively participate in group activities and social activities. For new postgraduate students, postgraduate education will be a new stage for you to further develop academic knowledge and improve research ability. I hope you will pursue innovation in each of your research projects by taking a problem-oriented approach with interdisciplinary knowledge and methods. I also hope you will make full use of the abundant platforms and resources provided by the university to pursue your own research directions, and be diligent in thinking, conscientious in seeking truth, and courageous in innovating.’

In line with the government’s measures to prevent and control the epidemic, all classes at UM from 18 August and 17 September will be conducted online. The mode of teaching after 18 September will be decided based on the severity of the epidemic.

Source: Communications Office