The University of Macau (UM) was founded in 1981. Its predecessor was the private University of East Asia. Through 37 years of development, UM is now not only the best university, but also the only public comprehensive university, in Macao. Over the years, the university has produced many outstanding graduates for society.
The UM community currently consists of more than 10,143 students, including 6,767 undergraduates and 3,376 postgraduates. Through its various faculties and institutes, namely the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Faculty of Business Administration, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Technology, the Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, the Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering, the Institute of Collaborative Innovation, and Honours College, the university offers high-quality academic programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels that are distinctive and cover a variety of fields, including literature, language, business administration, marketing, accounting, finance, international integrated resort management, science, education, biomedical sciences, law, history, economics, psychology, sociology, communication, engineering, computer sciences, and Chinese medical sciences.
The academic programmes adopt a credit system and a collegiate system, with equal emphasis on Chinese, English, and Portuguese. There are more than 130 degree programmes at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, with some programmes, such as those in English, Portuguese, Chinese, microelectronics, and Chinese medical sciences, being particularly strong. English is the main medium of instruction, with some programmes being taught in Chinese or Portuguese.
UM is committed to producing versatile and creative graduates with a global outlook, including bilingual language professionals proficient in Chinese and Portuguese, professionals in the Chinese history and culture, in data sciences, in innovative entrepreneurship, in physics, chemistry, and biomedical sciences. Over the years, UM graduates have found employment in various industries. In 2017, 91.3 per cent of UM graduates with a bachelor’s degree either found a job or were accepted for further studies (with those in the latter category accounting for 14.9 per cent). Of those who successfully found a job, 90 per cent did so within three months of graduation. UM attaches great importance to training high-calibre professionals. The UM Macao Talent Programme was launched precisely for this purpose—to promote the sustainable development of postgraduate education and international academic collaboration.
UM is ranked among the top 400 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019 with a global ranking of No 5 in International Outlook, No 62 in the THE Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2018, and No 60 in the THE Young University Rankings. Its place in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings is also rising steadily to No 443 in 2019. It is among the top 1% in Essential Sciences Indicators (ESI) rankings in five subjects, namely Engineering, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Computer Science, Clinical Medicine, and Social Sciences, General.
In the QS World University Rankings by Subject, UM is ranked No 46 in Hospitality and Leisure Management, in the 151-200 bracket in Linguistics, and in the 251-300 bracket in Law. In the THE World University Rankings, it is ranked in the 151-175 bracket in Psychology, among the top 200 in Engineering and Technology, and Computer Science; and in the 201-250 bracket in Education.
An International University
UM has earned recognition for its high degree of internationalisation. It boasts an outstanding international faculty team. 80 per cent of the faculty members are from overseas. The fact that English is the main medium of instruction at UM has attracted outstanding students from around the world, which in turn has helped to create a vibrant, multicultural campus. The university continuously expands its international network and actively builds platform for international collaboration in order to broaden the students’ horizons. It has established collaboration agreements with 217 institutions of higher learning in over 33 countries and regions. UM students can choose from 143 institutions around the world for exchange programmes or overseas studies. The university also provides students with many internship opportunities, both local and overseas, in order to enhance their employability upon graduation.
UM boasts a top-notch teaching and research team. Many of the faculty members have earned prestigious titles such as fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, member of the Portuguese Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Society for Metals, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, fellow of the American Physical Society, fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, fellow of the American Educational Research Association, president of the IEEE’s Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professor (Ministry of Education). Not only does the university continuously search for high-calibre scholars, it also offers attractive work conditions to enable faculty members to achieve their full potential. In doing so, it has successfully developed an outstanding faculty team with growing academic influence on a global scale.
Residential College System
Thanks to the support of the central and Macao SAR governments, UM in 2014 relocated to the current campus and became the first university in Macao to implement a complete residential college system. The university now has Asia’s largest RC system, comprised of ten colleges, namely Chao Kuang Piu College, Cheng Yu Tung College, Cheong Kun Lun College, Choi Kai Yau College, Henry Fok Pearl Jubilee College, Lui Che Woo College, Ma Man Kei and Lo Pak Sam College, Moon Chun Memorial College, Shiu Pong College, and Stanley Ho East Asia College. As a complement to the faculty-based system, the RCs serve as a vehicle for whole-person education through systematic planning of experiential programmes, in order to shape the students’ character development, help them cultivate soft skills beyond their chosen areas of study, enhance teacher-student interaction, and foster a stronger sense of belonging to the RCs and the university.
UM attaches great importance to academic research and innovation in science and technology. Many of the faculty members and researchers at the university are masters in their respective fields. Together, they have made significant contributions in the fields of science, humanities, and social sciences. According to statistics from the ISI Web of Science, the number of high-quality research papers published by UM members increased steadily from 127 in 2008 to 1,342 in 2017, with the citation frequency of UM-published papers reaching 17,246 in 2017.
UM is ranked among the top ten universities with the most papers on chips research presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference. Its microelectronics research team received the Prize for Scientific and Technological Innovation 2010 from the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, and the second-class State Scientific and Technological Progress Award. Its Chinese medicine research team received another second-class State Scientific and Technological Progress Award. Its Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering develops and studies new materials and applications in the fields of energy and environment, and is dedicated to improving people’s quality of life through innovations in science and technology. Its Faculty of Health Sciences has a research team specialised in biomedical sciences and medical technology.
In recent years, UM established three state key laboratories, in microelectronics, Chinese medical sciences, and the Internet of Things for smart cities, as well as two educational bases, namely the Macao Base for Primary & Secondary Education in Humanities & Social Sciences, and the Macao Base for Primary & Secondary STEM Education. UM makes an active effort to integrate into the Greater Bay Area and to participate in national research projects, in order to enhance its research capacity, promote knowledge transfer, increase the impact of its research, solve the universal problems faced by humanity, and achieve a leading position and international reputation in related fields. It is also committed to playing a positive part in China’s Road and Belt initiative by making use of its unique advantages and providing research and intellectual support for Macao’s ‘One Centre, One Platform’ strategy.
A People-Centred Campus
UM’s current campus became operational in 2014. Then President Hu Jintao officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the campus. Separated from Taipa by a river, the campus covers approximately one square kilometre, with the lush Hengqin Hill serving as a beautiful backdrop. Designed with a people-centred approach, the campus aims to provide a comfortable learning environment for the students as well as excellent teaching and research conditions for faculty members. The campus is equipped with a complete set of teaching facilities, including a state-of-the-art library, the University Hall, an Olympic-standard swimming pool, a sports complex, an archery range, basketball courts, a sports climbing wall, and gym rooms.
Support to the University
UM has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks to the support of the central government, the Macao SAR government, and all sectors of society. Both the current president, Xi Jinping, and the former president, Hu Jintao, have visited UM and given important instructions for the university’s future development. They have both expressed expectations for UM to develop into a world-class institution. As the only public comprehensive university in Macao, with the Macao SAR chief executive serving as its chancellor and chair of the University Assembly, UM enjoys the unparalleled advantage of having the unreserved support of the SAR government. In 2016, it became the first institution of higher learning in Macao to receive the Medal of Merit—Education from the SAR government, in recognition of its contributions to education.
Looking to the Future
Today’s UM has entered a new era. It will continue to uphold the five virtues listed in the university motto, namely humanity, integrity, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity. It will constantly improve, optimise, enhance, and innovate, in order to become an outstanding university that is rooted in Macao, integrated into the Greater Bay Area, and geared towards the whole country and the world; an outstanding university that makes a contribution to Macao, China, and humanity.