Rector’s Speech in the Ceremony for the Conferment of Honorary and Higher Degrees 2019 ( 09/11/2019)

Honourable Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR, Dr Alexis Tam Chon Weng, representing the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR and the Chancellor of the University of Macau,
Honourable Chair of the University Council, Dr Peter Lam Kam Seng,
Honourable Chair of the Honorary Degrees and Titles Committee of the University Council, Mr Lei Pui Lam,
Members of the University Assembly and the University Council,
Distinguished guests, dear colleagues and students,
Good afternoon.

Welcome to the Ceremony for the Conferment of Honorary and Higher Degrees 2019. On behalf of all members of the university, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the graduates. In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to your teachers, families and friends who supported you during the course of your study.

Today, it is our great privilege to confer the degree of doctor honoris causa upon four luminaries as an expression of our utmost admiration towards the significant contributions that they have made to the university, Macao and the nation in the areas of higher education, science and culture. I am very pleased to introduce to you these four distinguished individuals who will henceforth be intimately associated with the University of Macau (UM). They are: Doctor of Law honoris causa — Mr Qiao Xiaoyang, a key contributor to legislative work that paved the way for the reform and opening up of China as well as a key facilitator for the development of the new campus of UM; Doctor of Education honoris causa — Ms Lau Sin Peng, a senior educationalist who has dedicated herself to the development of education in Macao for many decades; Doctor of Science honoris causa — Prof Dennis Lo Yuk Ming, a renowned expert in clinical applications of molecular biology who has played a pioneering role in the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tests; Doctor of Business Administration honoris causa — Dr Roy Chung Chi Ping, a prominent businessman in Hong Kong who has been committed to drawing talent back to Macao. All four recipients have outstanding accomplishments and have had a profound impact in their chosen fields. It is their dedication, perseverance and persistence that make them shining examples as they are.

As the only public university offering comprehensive education in Macao, UM has been making great strides in development and has become an important window to Macao for the nation and the world. Over the past year, UM has formulated development strategies focused on expansion in size, internationalisation, faculty development and R&D. In response to the trends in higher education, research and innovation in Macao, China and all over the world, UM has adopted the ‘RISE’ strategy, which includes four elements: Relevance, Impact, Significance and Excellence. This strategy allows for efficient talent nurturing and planning of teaching and research. UM has also drawn up a new blueprint to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration with a view to developing UM through both inheritance and innovation, giving full play to its strengths and scaling new heights in the pursuit of excellence.

In line with the nation’s Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Macao SAR government has announced an annex to its Five-year Development Plan, titled The Macao Special Administrative Region’s Participation in the Construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The document gives direction to the development of Macao, and also brings new opportunities for UM to participate in the development of higher education and innovation in the region. Since China formally launched the Greater Bay Area, it has become a development strategy to which the nation attaches high importance. Riding on this wave, the university is working closely with the SAR government in policies and work plans, and is earnestly involved in taking up tasks related to the Outline Development Plan. The measures include: developing the first industry-academia-research demonstration base in the mainland through Zhuhai UM Science & Technology Research Institute for research output transfer, and promoting innovation through the sharing of research resources with partners in the region. The university is also jointly nurturing talent with partner institutions in the Greater Bay Area. This includes launching joint PhD degrees with Shenzhen University and Southern University of Science and Technology, as well as undergraduate exchange programmes with Shenzhen University, Sun Yat-sen University and the South China University of Technology. In addition to these, many university-level alliances have been forged to promote cooperation. By pooling together the research and teaching strengths of members, it is hoped that all-round regional cooperation can be effected with the aim of developing the western section of the Greater Bay Area into an innovation and technology hub and a cradle for talent nurturing. Examples of such collaboration are: founding the Alliance for Technological Innovation and Talent Development in Western Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area together with Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College and Wuyi University; establishing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Marine Science and Technology Innovation Alliance and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Space Science and Technology Alliance with Sun Yat-sen University; forming the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Academician Innovation & Entrepreneurship Alliance with the Federation of Guangdong Academicians, as well as an alliance for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao industry-academia-research innovation with Zhuhai Dahengqin Technology Development Co., Ltd. All of these will contribute to the sustainable development of Macao, as well as the western section and the whole of the Greater Bay Area.

Academic research and technological innovation are highly valued by the university. As a top international university located in the western section of the Greater Bay Area, UM has made solid progress specifically in the field of innovative research over the past year. Through surveys and systematic planning, the university has devised a plan for collaborative development of emerging disciplines and provided strong support to interdisciplinary research and programmes as well as innovation and entrepreneurship. In recent years, the university has also increased its investment in humanities and social sciences. This includes: the formal inauguration of the Cultural Building this year, setting up the Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (IAS) and the Centre for Constitutional Law and Basic Law Studies. These efforts have allowed the university to go from strength to strength in the related disciplines and provided intellectual support to Macao for developing itself into One Centre, One Platform and One Base. In addition to these, the university has also set up a joint key laboratory with the Ministry of Education (MOE) Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry of Sun Yat-Sen University, a joint laboratory of brain and cognitive sciences with the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, MOE joint key laboratories and MOE key research centres. Such strategic and diversified complementary collaboration allows all parties to leverage their research and disciplinary advantages, so as to make breakthroughs in research and development of related technologies. This year, the university also laid down a research and development strategy which adopts the problem-oriented approach, deepens cooperation between arts and sciences and focuses on collaborative innovation and knowledge transfer. It also formulated a strategic blueprint with a 3+3+3+3 framework: giving full play to the research and leading role of the three state key laboratories on Chinese medicine, microelectronics and Internet of Things for smart city; promoting research in the three emerging fields of precision medicine, advanced materials and regional oceanology; building interdisciplinary research platforms for the three fields of artificial intelligence, data science, and cognitive and brain sciences; as well as establishing three research platforms in humanities and social sciences, namely the Centre for Macau Studies, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Economics and Management, and the IAS. The university has been facilitating closer collaboration between the platforms and faculties so as to achieve synergy and to integrate teaching and research, as well as arts and sciences. This, it is expected, will define the academic strength of the university, Macao and the nation.

After 38 years of development, with the support from the nation and the SAR government, UM has acquired its unique advantages: its location in a special administrative region, its special mission, special status and unique education model. It also enjoys social recognition and international reputation. As the strongest comprehensive university in the western section of the Greater Bay Area, UM will continue to work in line with development trends of the nation and the globe based on current educational and research outcomes. Combined with the advantages brought about by the development of the Greater Bay Area, I believe UM will have an even larger space and arena for development. UM graduates will enjoy more opportunities and broader horizons. Going forward, the primary task of UM will remain talent nurturing. With the aim to be rooted in Macao, integrate into the Greater Bay Area and reach out to the whole nation and the world, UM will spare no efforts to consolidate its focus and live up to the expectations of the nation and the local community. It will create a larger platform for talent cultivation and research collaboration, actively enhance its international competitiveness and promote the internationalisation of the higher education of Macao.

With this solid foundation and development edge, UM will definitely forge a luminous future, to be enjoyed by all of our alumni. Dear graduates, UM is where you started your journey to success. I am sure you will grasp the opportunities presented to you along the way, create promising futures and become pillars of the society. Last but not least, I wish all the guests good health and happiness in life. Thank you.

Rector’s Speech in Congregation 2019 (25/05/2019)

The honourable Chief Executive of the Macao SAR and Chancellor of the University of Macau, Dr Chui Sai On,

The Chair of the University Council, Dr Lam Kam Seng Peter,

The members of the University Assembly and the University Council,

Distinguished guests, dear alumni, teachers, students and their families,

Good afternoon. Welcome to the 2019 Congregation. Today we are here to witness an important moment in life of more than 1,500 graduates and to celebrate another fruitful year of the university. First of all, on behalf of the University of Macau, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations and best wishes to all our graduates; our utmost gratitude to the staff and parents for their devotion and dedication; and our heartfelt appreciation to the local community for their care and support to the university over the years.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to say a few words to our graduates. When I was your age, my firm belief was that ‘Knowledge changes fate and vision brings success’. This is similar to what some people say, that vision determines the limits of your potentials and achievements. In the course of pursuing my dreams and aspirations, I have studied and worked in different places; I have come to realise how important vision is to one’s personal growth and career development. On this big day, when you are bidding farewell to the university to start a new chapter in life, I wish to share with you some of my thoughts on vision.

First of all, vision requires altitude. When you climb to the peak, you will see huge mountains all looking small under your feet. This is how altitude shapes your vision. In the face of increasingly fierce international competition, global vision is a key yardstick to evaluate the competitiveness of talent both present and future. A large soaring bird commands a panoramic view; a frog in the bottom of the well has no clue about the sea outside. This is a fitting analogy to emphasise that the broader your vision is, the wider your world gets. Human vision also varies depending on one’s perspectives. There is a Chinese saying that mountains take different shapes and sizes when you look at them from different angles; and people with ordinary vision normally cannot see the wood for the trees. That is to say, your vision affects your understanding of the world and governs your reasoning and thoughts. Therefore, your vision directly determines your problem-solving ability and ultimately your competitiveness in society and the world. Your vision decides your fate.

‘To go a storey higher in order to see a thousand miles farther’ is another expression that relates vision with altitude. ‘To stand tall and see far’ and ‘To feel inspired at greater heights’ also express the same idea. One can go up mountains or towers to reach sufficient height, but it is more important to reach new heights on a firm footing that is supported by knowledge and experience. University life enriches our knowledge, but it only raises us to a higher level of foundation. Now that we can stand on a higher ground, we need to learn to broaden our vision in order to achieve greater success.

Our nation is now unprecedentedly close to the centre of the world stage. The metropolises in the mainland and our city Macao are becoming more and more globalised, and are participating in more intense international competitions. Against this backdrop and with this general trend, it is the objective view that we should have global vision and qualities at an international level in order to survive and to develop. In this regard, our university has been striving to create a positive, open, inclusive and diversified environment, as well as an internationalised campus culture for students. To this end, the university provides students with more learning and exchange opportunities both at home and aboard; widens their horizons and exposure; and encourages them to learn and think with a macroscopic and open mind. Students of the University of Macau can now go on exchange and study at more than 150 renowned higher education institutions around the world. These opportunities not only help students improve their language proficiency in a native environment and strengthen their disciplinary knowledge, but also enable them to gain experience through living in a different cultural environment. Many graduates here have gone on exchange programmes, studied or competed abroad in the past four years under the arrangement of the residential colleges, faculties or the Student Affairs Office. Apart from enriching specialised knowledge, students have broadened their outlook by getting to know and understand different cultures worldwide. For example, every year the International Integrated Resort Management programme organises their students to go on exchange and field study in the US. By gaining a better understanding of the latest development in tourism and leisure, students can better align their level of professional capabilities with international standards. As a student in the Department of Portuguese, Ip Chon Chao had the opportunity to enhance his language skills and broaden his experience through an exchange programme at the University of Lisbon. After graduating in 2009, he secured an interpreting and administrative job at a steel plant in Angola, involving himself in the development of a platform for cooperation in business services between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries. Four years later, he founded his own company in Angola with friends. In addition, the projects of three teams from the University of Macau, namely Silk Road Macau, Nan Jia Zhi Zao and Team Whee competed against hundreds of other projects in the final round of the 2018 China College Students’ Entrepreneurship Competition; the teams were victorious and brought home two silver and one bronze medals. Furthermore, students are encouraged to participate in poverty relief through education at Congjiang County, Guizhou Province in mainland China. The saying ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’ can be used to describe the experience of our students; they are able to use their power to help the people in need and contribute to national development.

Dear students, ‘Our life has a limit, but knowledge has none’. This old saying echoes what we often talk about, ‘It’s never too old to learn’. We live in an ever-changing world where change is the only constant. As you travel along your path in life, you will find that you are sailing against the current – either you keep forging ahead or you keep falling behind. Only by constantly learning and scaling new heights can we enrich our knowledge and refine our senses. Only by constantly broadening our horizons can we avoid complacency in life or acquiring a tunnel vision. Only by doing so can we be well-positioned to prevail in fierce competitions. The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is an important strategy for national development in the new era. It was officially issued three months ago, signifying that the bay area development is now in full swing. It is a discernible trend that Macao will integrate itself into the Greater Bay Area and the overall development of the nation. Many opportunities will be available as a result of this important development, including those for our young graduates to show their capabilities.

Dear students, there will be a time for you to ride the wind and cleave the waves; you will set sail to touch the clouds and cross the deep blue sea. As the ocean is boundless for fishes to leap, the sky has no limit for birds to fly. You are in your prime, therefore, aim high and dream big. You should care about the destiny of your nation, and weave your dreams into the development of your country. I hope that you can seize the opportunities presented to you, and continue to climb higher and look farther. Your knowledge will enable you to stand taller, your far-reaching horizons will expand your vision, and your broad state of mind will empower you to create a bright future. I wish that you can spread your wings and soar high like an eagle.

Last but not least, my heartfelt congratulations to the new cohort of graduates once again! I wish all of you the best of luck in your future endeavours, and my best wishes to all the guests here.

Rector’s Speech in the Ceremony for the Conferment of Honorary and Higher Degrees 2018 ( 01/12/2018)

The Honourable Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR, Dr Alexis Tam Chon Weng, representing the Chief Executive and Chancellor of the University of Macau,
The Honourable Chair of the University Council, Dr Peter Lam Kam Seng,
The Honourable Chair of the Honorary Degrees and Titles Committee of the University Council, Mr Lei Pui Lam,
The members of the University Assembly and the University Council,
Distinguished guests, colleagues and students,

Good afternoon. Welcome to the 2018 Ceremony for the Conferment of Honorary and Higher Degrees.

Today is a day of celebration and joy as we are here to witness the beginning of a new journey of another cohort of higher degrees graduates. On behalf of all members of the university, I extend my heartiest congratulations to all the graduates. In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to the teachers who dedicated themselves to guiding you as well as families and friends who supported you during the course of your study. My special thanks go to the local community and the Macao SAR government for their unremitting support to the development of our university. We nurture students par excellence and continue to do our best in our work: that is how we give back to society.

The University of Macau will be conferring honorary doctorates upon five luminaries: Prof Wang Anyi, Dr Aaron J. Ciechanover, Prof Joseph Sung Jao-yiu, Dr Anthony Lau Siu Wing, and Mr Lao Ngai Leong, in recognition of the significant accomplishments they made in their respective fields. Their profound insights and expertise are what make them so inspirational and admirable to others. On this day of celebration, we are very honoured to have with us three of the above distinguished individuals: the Doctor of Education honoris causa — Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu, a renowned educationalist and gastroenterology specialist who strives to lead by example; the Doctor of Business Administration honoris causa — Dr Anthony Lau Siu Wing, a leading figure in the sector of air cargo and logistics as well as an exemplary alumni; and the Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa — Mr Lao Ngai Leong, a prominent businessman who is committed to improving social welfare and supporting education and charitable causes. The conferment for Prof Wang Anyi and Dr Aaron J. Ciechanover will be arranged on a separate occasion.

The University of Macau is committed to nurturing talent at all levels. While a university is underpinned by a strong undergraduate education with distinctive features, we also understand that postgraduate education determines the standards of a university. For this reason, we attach great importance to quality education for postgraduates, with particular emphasis on enhancing their innovative thinking and global competitiveness. The research outputs of our postgraduates in different fields have been recognized internationally in recent years. In addition to publishing papers and winning awards in mainland and international conferences, a number of graduates have obtained professional qualifications from international professional bodies. To cite a few examples: a PhD graduate of the Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences ranked top among the projects of Young Elite Scientist Sponsorship Programme, which is a nationally acclaimed event; a master’s graduate of the Faculty of Science and Technology was selected to the list of talented young people in technology and innovation by the MIT Technology Review, which is one of the most authoritative rankings of the kind in the world; a PhD student of the Faculty of Law was granted fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts; a post-doctoral research team of the State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal VLSI received the 2017 Takuo Sugano Award for Outstanding Far-East Paper at the 65th IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC); and a PhD student of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was invited to serve as art consultant and member of the judge panel at an international music festival held in the United Kingdom. Our research teams won more than half of the 2018 Macao science and technology awards.

In the past year, through the relentless efforts of our teachers and students, the university has been making great strides both internally and externally, especially in terms of its global ranking and academic influence. This year, five disciplines are ranked among the top 1% in the Essential Science Indicators (ESI) database; the university is ranked top 400 by the 2019 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and the fifth for international outlook. While the rankings are certainly not the sole or accurate indicator of university development, it can, to a certain degree, reflect the international influence of a university. After a long period of planning and preparation, various projects have been up and running this year, including: launching the UM Macao Talent Programme; implementing the Regulation of Management of Intellectual Property; offering interdisciplinary degree programmes to integrate different disciplines with data science; focusing on the research and innovation of three new emerging areas, namely precision medicine, advanced materials as well as neuroscience and artificial intelligence; participating in national research projects and promoting the integration of industry, academia and research in the Greater Bay Area through the Zhuhai UM Science & Technology Research Institute; obtaining the approval from the Ministry of Science and Technology this July to establish the third SKL of UM — the State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City, just to name a few of them.

The University of Macau has gone from strength to strength with the support of the central government, the Macao SAR government, the local community, and the concerted efforts of all university members. In the meantime, our educational ideals have become clearer. There is an expression reflecting the wisdom and truth of the literary and cultural circles: ‘The pride of a nation is also the pride of the world’. Enlightened by that insight, we believe that the same is true for university education: the pride of Macao may also be the pride of the world. A university should have a dream. The University of Macau is committed to developing itself into a university of excellence. While this is a long process, our priority is to build the University of Macau into an institution that the Macao citizens are proud of — one that serves the community and one that nurtures talents who are patriotic and community-conscious. To embody Macao characteristics, the university should bear the features and needs of Macao in mind in teaching, research, construction and community services. Only through these efforts can a distinctive University of Macau be a contributor to the higher education community of the world.

Looking ahead, the university will make further progress by leveraging its current momentum in teaching, research, technology transfer and international exchange. More efforts will be made to implement President Xi Jinping’s important instructions on nurturing more talents who are patriotic and empathetic towards the Macao community, as well as attaining more scientific and technological achievements. Against the backdrop of the deepening reform and opening-up of China, the university will bring together talents of different professions to carry out cross-disciplinary and multi-area cooperation. New development strategies will be formulated to develop the strengths of the university so as to further its growth, enabling teaching staff and students to gain more benefits from local, national and global development. These measures will help the university gain a solid standing in Macao, integrate into the Greater Bay Area and relate to the nation and beyond.

Dear graduates, our university is blossoming; its academic standing and impact are on the rise. All these attributes are relevant not only to your past and present, but also to your future. Bidding farewell to this familiar campus, you are certainly proud of the achievements of your alma mater. When you choose scenic spots to take photos as a keepsake of your memorable time on campus, do not forget the sculpture of significance that stands in the Lotus Square: the Wall of Wisdom gifted by the Ministry of Education this April. It is not only a landmark of UM, but also a symbol of the university motto (humanity, integrity, propriety, wisdom, sincerity) and our educational ideal for knowledge pursuit and moral nourishment. Hence, I would like to take this campus landmark to remind our graduates of our motto and educational ideals. Please bear Macao and the nation in mind and contribute to their development in your future life journey. In addition to keeping up with your specialization and research areas, also take note of current affairs, broaden your horizons and be open-minded. Exciting opportunities are here and now for young people in view of Macao’s distinctive positioning as ‘One Centre, One Platform, One Base’, the steady progress made for the Greater Bay Area, the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the immense job market and the drive for innovation and entrepreneurship in the mainland. Against such a backdrop, the mobility of high-end talents will be greater than ever as there are burgeoning demands from various sectors. I believe that all these new opportunities could brighten up your career prospects. Not least, I hope that you will find the remarkable success stories of the honorary doctors inspiring and will regard them as your role models to help you shape your own personal and social values and live a fulfilling life. I would like to wish you a bright future and our guests all the very best!

Thank you all!

Rector’s Speech in Congregation 2018 (26/05/2018)

The Honourable Chief Executive of the Macao SAR and Chancellor of the University of Macau, Dr Chui Sai On,

The Chair of the University Council, Dr Peter Lam Kam Seng,

The members of the University Assembly and the University Council,

Distinguished guests, dear alumni, parents, teachers and students,


Welcome to the 2018 Congregation. Today we are here to witness our graduates setting off for another wonderful journey in life. First of all, on behalf of the university, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to all of the graduates. Our utmost gratitude to parents for their love and care; to our staff for their teaching and shepherding and not least, our thankfulness to all the members of the community for their steadfast support over the years.


Today is special not only to you, but also to me, as this is the first time that I am speaking here at the Congregation. In the course of its 37 years, the university has explored and forged a whole-person education model which focuses on discipline-specific education, general education, research and internship education, and community and peer education, and is running an integrated education regime in which faculties and colleges work together to achieve a synergetic effect. The residential college system is even the jewel in the crown of our undergraduate education, so to speak. It is a realization of what the American educationalist John Dewey advocates: education is life and life is education.


How time flies! It has been four years since the university moved to the present campus. You were the first batch who were going to start your student life, with hope and aspiration, right here at the first year and today you are, still with your lingering fond memory, the first batch to have passed the whole four amazing years here – yes, siree, here on this verdant campus. For all of its development that took place in those four years, you witnessed it, you participated in it and you came away with the rewarding experience of it.


Majoring in different disciplines, you came to your colleges to live, to learn and to join activities in a holistic fashion under its amicable communal ambience. And each one of you will come away with aspirations and your own wonderful story to tell others. We will remember that there in Chao Kuang Piu College, three students realized their start-up dream by co-founding a high-tech entertainment company. The college is greatly supportive of them and provides them space to conduct related experiments. They explored their way of research and invention and shared with their peers their experience in entrepreneurship: Innovation begets the entrepreneurial spirit and the spirit motivation. It takes one to have the passion, the heart, the action to bring the start-up to come to pass. And it has to have a purpose and be positive to society for a start-up to be meaningful.


College education does not only coalesce life and education into one inseparable whole, but also wins its admiration from the parents. A case in point is last year when a parent contributed a short newspaper article in the aftermath of the battering Hato. Instead of beefing about class suspension, they lauded their son’s college for mobilizing students to do voluntary restorative work outside the campus. The parent also noted that through the performance of relieve work, students had learned the importance of empathy in times of a disaster. We thank you all, dear parents, for supporting our whole-person education. And dear students, your four-year residential college life will not fade away. It simply deposits itself in you waiting to be a game changer in your future life. That’s the very reason why we have the residential college system.


At the commencement of a new journey, you will have new dreams to dream, new goals to achieve. Take the university motto with you. Dream big and aim high. Venture and be receptive to new ideas. For Macao. For our nation and beyond. You will find a fast-changing world out there. Stay there a second more and you will lag behind. The only key to success is to keep learning and thinking. As what Steve Jobs said at the 2005 Stanford University Commencement: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”. I wish everyone of you can live an awesome life through constant learning and power on. The university is your pride, and you will be the university’s pride as well!


Once again, my heartiest congratulations to all of the graduates. Wish you a bright and promising future. And all the best to our dearest guests, alumni, parents, teachers and students.


Thank you!

Rector’s Inauguration Speech (24/01/2018)

The Honourable Chair of the University Council, Dr Peter Lam Kam Seng;

The Honourable Members of the University Assembly and the University Council;

Dear guests, colleagues and students:


Good afternoon and thank you very much for attending my inauguration today. I would first like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Selection Committee for their support, to the University Council for their recommendation and to the Chief Executive for my appointment as the ninth Rector of the University of Macau. I am very much honoured to have the opportunity to serve the University and the local community. Today, on this solemn occasion, I am taking up this glorious mission; with it also comes my strong sense of responsibility.


In recent years, the University of Macau has achieved high standards with distinctive regional features. All of these are attributed to the joint efforts and support of the Central and the MSAR Governments, Members of the University Assembly and the University Council, as well as the local community. Also we must give credit to the former rectors for their leadership and university staff for their contributions.


Now on the back of its history of 37 years, the University is setting full sail ahead. In planning the development of the University, we should draw experience from the past, keeping in mind what our predecessors have offered us and treasuring the achievements we have. Through torch-relay, we will constantly take steps forward and strive for perfection and innovation. I will listen to the views of different parties in and out of the University, build communication pathways for staff, foster mutual trust and pool ideas together to work out how to move the University forward. We will formulate strategies to pursue excellence, to refine our education and to make the University impactful internationally. I would like to make use of this occasion to share with you my initial ideas on four aspects of University development:


First, we will refine our integrated education model to nurture talents at different levels and for various fields.

As the Chinese saying goes: Well governance hinges on talents, talent nurturing on education, and education on schools. That is to say, education institutions are what we need to cultivate talents. As students are the future of Macao and China, it is important therefore that we go about talent nurturing at different levels and for various fields. Towards that end, it is our mission to develop the University into a world-class tertiary institution to pitch in with the MSAR Government policy of ‘building a better Macao through education’.


The fundamental pursuit of a world-class university is to provide quality education to undergraduates. We will therefore optimize our whole-person education system that consists of general education, discipline-specific education, research and internship, and peer and community education. We will also make the most of the combined strengths of, and forge closer collaboration among Honours College, residential colleges and faculties; and actively launch the innovation and entrepreneurship education. Besides, we will provide students with more exchange and study opportunities in renowned higher institutions in mainland or overseas; stimulate students’ learning motivation; and nurture students to be the talents with patriotism, aspiration, a global vision, innovative spirits, and a strong sense of commitment to society and to themselves.


The standards of a university are also judged by the quality of postgraduate education it offers. For this reason, we will take a raft of measures to raise the standards of our postgraduate programmes. These will mainly include: admitting high-calibre PhD candidates and building a stronger team of teaching staff; cultivating academic spirits and creativity in postgraduates; seeking to build an international research cooperation platform; and providing postgraduates with more opportunities to participate in cutting-edge scientific and interdisciplinary research. A world-class university calls for an excellent academic environment. We will work hard to nurture our postgraduate talents to be globally competitive and able to bring progress to humanity and solve challenging scientific issues.


Second, we will strive to create a working environment that can unleash staff’s individual potential and bring out the best in them.

The greatness of a university lies in the strong scholarship of its faculty. Having a team of good teachers is a prerequisite for having good students. To develop into a world-class university, it is imperative for us to build a dynamic team of professional teaching staff with academic integrity and international standing. We will strive to foster a culture where each and every one of the members of staff feels happy to work under, where they will work towards the same goal in solidarity and where they will give their best with their efforts recognized and appreciated. Such a working environment can strengthen staff members’ sense of belonging to the University. It is only by doing so will each one of them be able to maximize their strengths and do their job well.


We will also perfect the evaluation mechanism for different categories of academic staff with reference to, where it can practically apply, the relevant criteria of world-renowned universities; improve the efficiency of administrative service and use of resources; recruit more distinguished scholars and other talents; and create favourable working conditions for academic staff to be able to unleash their full potential and produce cutting-edge research output with the objective of building a strong faculty that has excellent academic reputation.


Third, we will build a mechanism to further open up our cooperation with other institutions on research in order to increase the impactfulness and innovativeness of research output.

A world-class university ought to and should be able to constantly explore the unknown, which is key to making it influential and prestigious. Alongside the efforts to strengthen the overall academic standards of the University, we will focus on our priorities and enhance research quality, so that we can carve out niches in research on arts and humanities, social sciences and science and technology. A mechanism to further open up research collaboration will also be established to facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation within the University and deepen the connections with mainland universities, research institutes and enterprises. The strengthening of international research collaborations will also be emphasized. Other manoeuvres will also include reforming the current research management mechanism to ensure smooth running of research-related activities, integrating teaching and research to produce synergetic effects, increasing the ability of our research to address the problems faced by humanity and achieving international leverage and prestige in relevant fields.


Fourth, we will continue to perfect the community service platform so that the intention of serving society can get realized across as broad the spectrums of Macao’s socio-economic development as possible.

The strength of a world-class university is also testified to by the service it provides to the community. The more a university has developed, the greater responsibility it will have towards society and the greater role it is expected to play in socio-economic development of the community which it belongs to. As the only public comprehensive university in the MSAR, the University of Macau should not only root itself in Macao, but also be prepared to go beyond the ivory tower of academia to serve society. It should strengthen its function as a think tank to assist and support the MSAR Government to adopt a scientific approach to its governance and for its positioning in the One Centre and One Platform initiative. Further, the University will continue to promote the integration of academia, research and industry to make more technological transfers possible. It will also work hard to contribute in such areas as building Macao into a smart city, refining its health care and basic education systems, etc. In doing so, the University will be able to play a more significant role of serving the socio-economic development of Macao.


A new chapter. A new journey. A new starting point. A new mission. This is the job that is going to give me a critical sense of responsibility, and I will work hard to do it well. Just like we must have dreams before we can go for greater successes, a university must have its own aspirations before it can achieve excellence. The University of Macau should assume on itself the mission of serving our community, contributing to our Nation and doing good for humanity. For it to do that, the University must root itself in Macao, integrate itself into the Greater Bay Region and relate itself vis-à-vis our Nation and beyond. We will continue to steer the University towards its educational mission and uphold its ideals, in the light of what is prescribed in the university motto — humanity, integrity, propriety, wisdom and sincerity. Under the support of the community and through the concerted efforts of all the students and teachers, we will strive to transform the University of Macau into an institution of excellence: The one which local people feel proud of, which outstanding students want to study in, and which the top scholars want to work for.


Thank you once again for being present here today. I wish you good health, good luck and every success.


Thank you.


Songhua Song
Rector of the University of Macau

A Message for the University Community (09/01/2018)

Dear colleagues, students and alumni,

Today is my first day of being the rector of the University of Macau. At the turn of the year, I would like to send all of you my best wishes. May the year of 2018 bring you good health and every success!

It is my greatest honour to be appointed the ninth rector of the university by the Chief Executive on recommendation by the University Council. In the past months, I had the opportunity of meeting some of the council members, staff and students. You were so welcoming and I thank you for sharing with me your studying and working experiences as well as your campus life. I am deeply touched by all those great efforts that you have put in making this university into the one as we know it today: be it about its state-of-the-art facilities, or its verdant campus that is richly steeped with academic ambience.

Without a doubt, the university has come a long way over the years with increasing academic influence and kudos internationally. This would not have been possible without the full support of the central and the Macao SAR governments and the outstanding leadership of the current and previous chancellors, council members and rectors. Last but not least, we are grateful for the unreserved support of the community and the contributions of university staff.

This is a new chapter, a new mission. I will hit the ground running and look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming months in different ways possible: formally or not so formally. I will also listen to the local community and see what they expect of us. With the solid foundation laid for the university, we will continue to do our job well through collective efforts and we look forward to more innovation, new opportunities and greater accomplishments in the future development of the university.

Yours sincerely,

Songhua Song
Rector of the University of Macau