Thanks to the support of the central government, the Macao SAR government, and all sectors of society, the University of Macau (UM) has risen from relative obscurity when it was founded 37 years ago to a proud place among the top 400 universities in the world, with marked progress in teaching, research, and community service.
- Support of the Central Government
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.
- In June 2018, President Xi Jinping replied to a joint letter from UM, pointing out a clear direction for higher education institutions in Macao. In the letter, President Xi recognised the recent progress made by higher education institutions in Macao in scientific and technological innovation, and expressed his hope that these institutions would produce more graduates with a love for their homeland and for Macao, attain new achievements in science and technology, promote the moderate diversification of Macao’s economy for sustainable development, and contribute to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
- In April 2018, the Ministry of Education gifted UM a statue ‘The Wall of Wisdom’. The statue is inscribed with the five virtues listed in the university motto and the words ‘Great Knowledge’ and ‘Great Character’, two of the expectations UM has for its students. The statue also symbolises UM’s commitment to disseminating the fine traditional Chinese culture and traditional Chinese virtues. At the unveiling ceremony for the statue, Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said, ‘This statue is more than just a gift; it represents the great expectations for UM on the part of the central government and the Ministry of Education. I hope UM will fulfil its historic mission to produce graduates with a love for their motherland to contribute to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the long-term prosperity and stability of Macao. I also hope UM will become a famous university not only in China, but also in the world.
- In April 2018, a delegation from the Ministry of Science and Technology inspected the two current state key laboratories at UM (one in microelectronics, and the other in Chinese medicine), as well as a third one in smart city development and the Internet of Things, already approved by the ministry but still in preparation. During the visit, the delegation said it was very pleased that the two current state key labs were playing an important role in the development of science and technology in Macao, and pledged continued support from the ministry in the Macao SAR government’s future effort to establish new state key labs.
- In December 2014, President Xi Jinping visited UM and praised UM for its many innovations in educational system and philosophy. After learning about UM’s leading position in the world in the field of nanoscale chips and Chinese medicine, he encouraged UM to make new contributions in China’s implementation of the ‘innovation-driven’ growth strategy and encouraged UM students to work hard, surpass their teachers, and put their knowledge into practice.
- On 7 November 2013, then State Council Vice-Premier Wang Yang officiated at the inauguration ceremony for the new campus.
- On 20 December 2009, then President, Hu Jintao, officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new campus. At the ceremony, Hu expressed hope that UM would develop into a world-class university with world-class facilities, world-class faculty, world-class graduates, world-class achievements, and greater contributions to the socioeconomic development of the Macao society.
- In January 2009, then Vice President Xi Jinping visited Hengqin Island. During his stay in Macao, he announced the central government’s decision to develop Hengqin Island. That was when the new campus project officially kicked off.
- Support of the SAR Government
Over the years, the Macao SAR government has provided unreserved support for UM by continuously improving education policies and increasing resources. UM is also the first university in Macao to have received the Medal of Merit—Education from the SAR government.
- As UM’s chancellor and chair of the University Assembly, Macao SAR Chief Executive Chui Sai On has spared no effort to support UM’s development. While addressing the 2018 Joint Meeting of the University Assembly and University Council, Chui said that thanks to the joint effort of all university members, UM was able to meet the demand and expectations of society. He expressed his hope that UM would continue to explore and innovate, constantly enhance the quality of its education, anticipate the changes created by the fast socioeconomic development of the Macao society, make use of the integrated approach to education, and redouble its effort in training high-calibre professionals in various fields.
- In his speech at the UM Congregation 2018, Chui said that UM’s rapid development was a perfect example of the benefits of implementing the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy in the field of higher education. He added that the SAR government would continue to support UM in its reform of the curriculum structure, in the development of a sound residential college system, and in the implementation of whole-person education. He expressed hope that UM would recruit high-calibre scholars in various fields, vigorously develop disciplines with enormous potential, and push ahead with the development of various disciplines.
- Support of Society
UM has earned recognition from society for its high-quality education as well as achievements of its faculty and students. It has received donations from all sectors of society, in support of its development.
- In December 2009, the University of Macau Development Foundation was established, with the aim of supporting UM to attain its academic and educational goals, helping UM increase its competitiveness locally and internationally, and creating all necessary and favourable conditions for such purposes.
- Each year, numerous UM members receive medals or certificates of merits from the SAR government. Many UM scholars have received prizes at the Macao Science and Technology Awards.
- Many prominent community members and UM alumni from Macao and Hong Kong have made donations to the university, to support the construction and development of residential colleges, university library, and classroom buildings.
- More than 50 institutions and individuals have made donations to the university in the form of scholarships to reward outstanding students.