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!