Especialistas Tomam o Pulso da UM e Discutem Como Contruir uma Universidade de Nível Mundial

Why does a university need to set up an international advisory committee? How will such a committee help the university’s development?

It is a common practice of many world-renowned universities to create international advisory committees in order to propel the internationalization of the institution, and the presence of academic heavyweights on such committees shows recognition of the university. To follow the practice of world-renowned universities, UM has set up itsInternational Advisory Committee. The purpose of setting up the International Advisory Committee is to have the experts take UM’s pulse and to draw on the collective wisdom of different universities regarding strategies for UM’s development and internationalization.

Heads of Prestigious Universities Serve on the Committee

UM’s International Advisory Committee consists of fourteen academic heavyweights from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.S., Canada and Portugal, all current or former heads of prestigious universities. They are founding President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Prof. Chia-Wei Woo;
Party Secretary of Peking University Prof. Min Weifang; President of Peking University Prof. Zhou Qifeng; member of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon (Portugal) Prof. João Malaca Casteleiro; former President of the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, Prof. David Liu Chung Laung; former President of Texas A&M University Prof. William H. Mobley; Vice Provost of Drexel University, U.S., Prof. Deborah L. Crawford; President of Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S., Prof. G. P. Bud Peterson; member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Prof. Wang Xiaodong; former Dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California, U.S., Prof. Timothy M. Chan; former President of the Hong Kong Institute of Education Prof. Ruth E. S. Hayhoe; former Deputy Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation Prof. Joseph Bordogna; former member of the European Parliament and former Chairman of the National Council for Education, Portugal, Prof. Manuel C. L. Porto; and member of the Committees for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR under the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Prof. Wang Zhenmin.

We interviewed seven members of the International Advisory Committee as well as UM Rector Wei Zhao about how a university can achieve the objective of becoming a world-class institution.

Founding President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Prof. Chia-Wei Woo

Basically, it would be very hard for a university to attract world-class people without sound facilities and education system and a sufficient space. If UM wants to develop well, it must be willing to pay good money to hire top people. More importantly it must ensure that faculty deans and department heads themselves are top people so they can go all out to recruit more top people without fearing potential threat from the newcomers. Education is not like running a business. Education requires a long-term vision. UM is now presented with a wonderful opportunity. This, when combined with the well-equipped new campus, is bound to attract more outstanding people.

President of Peking University Prof. Zhou Qifeng

UM has a short history, and still has a long way to go. But UM’s education philosophy, especially the “4-in-1” education model, is very advanced. If UM continues to follow this line of thinking, I think it will progress very fast. If in the future UM can become a world-class university like Harvard or Massachusetts, it will not only help enhance Macao’s image internationally and make the world know that there is an outstanding university in Macao and make Macao people proud, but also it can help nurture outstanding professionals for Macao, China and the world, which will be very beneficial to—and have a very significant impact on—the long-term development of the Macao society, especially the industrial development of Macao.

Former President of Texas A&M University Prof. William H. Mobley

UM has been developing very fast in recent years and has attracted many talented people here. The whole planning about undergraduate curricula, the Honours College and academic studies is all very good. The new campus is a very exciting project but also brings huge challenges, in terms of recruiting more outstanding faculty members to keep pace with all these developments as well as enhancing communication with the community, the staff and prospective students. But overall, I am very optimistic about UM’s future, and I think UM’s management team has very good ideas and is very open in their communication with the staff and students, which shows that UM’s culture is one that emphasizes quality enhancement as well as contributions to local and international communities.

Former President of the Hong Kong Institute of Education Prof.
Ruth E. S. Hayhoe

The planning and the preparatory work about the new campus are very demanding. I think how to manage the academic programmes and students and how to attract more faculty members are the most important. I think there needs to be a focus on a few areas, because it can’t be possible that in the next five or ten years we’ll become world-class. So it’s very crucial to pick out certain areas and really put special emphasis on them, and obviously that’s happening already, with the two state key labs in the science area. I think UM can borrow the practice of public universities in Singapore, the U.K., and Japan to de-link from the civil servant system, because doing so will grant more flexibility and autonomy in the university’s operation.

Former Dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California, U.S., Prof. Timothy M. Chan

I think with the new campus UM has done very well in the hardware aspect, and I think in the future UM should continue to improve the software aspect, viz. academic programmes, and in so doing emphasis should be placed on developing unique programmes and building a brand internationally. To put it more specifically, firstly UM should increase investment and internationally recruit top people, such as Nobel Prize laureates, with good pay. But good pay alone is not enough to attract top people, UM also needs a sound teaching system, quality academic research and on-campus support facilities. Secondly, UM should have a visionary blueprint. Thirdly, UM should set up a research fund to attract famous scientists and social scientists to come to UM as visiting scholars, and in the long run I believe this will be greatly beneficial to the university’s development.

Nember of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon (Portugal) Prof. João Malaca Casteleiro

The meeting offers fairly complete information about UM and helps me to gain a deeper understanding of UM. UM has a history of thirty years and in the next thirty years it is expected to become a large outstanding institution. The planning about the new campus is very well-thought-out, and so I have a lot of confidence in UM’s future. I also have great confidence in UM’s Portuguese programmes. I believe more outstanding Portuguese professionals will be nurtured in the future.

Former President of the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan,
Prof. David Liu Chung Laung

UM is now at a transitional period, from a small-size institution to a large-size institution with the new campus soon to be put into use. UM does not have much experience in this respect, and so it must draw on the most advanced ideas from around the world. During this transitional period, it is more necessary than ever that the local community and all UM members make extra efforts to achieve the goals.

UM Rector Wei Zhao

The road to reaching our goal of becoming a world-class institution is a long one, and UM will inevitably be presented with various challenges. It is not possible to accomplish this daunting undertaking by relying on UM’s strength alone; the support of the local and international communities is also indispensable. Just like a tall building must be constructed within a well-designed structure, so must a university. Just like a tall tree must have a solid foundation to grow continuously, so must a university. Therefore, it couldn’t be emphasized enough that reforms at UM should be carried out in a systematic, well-structured and student-oriented manner, and the establishment of an academic structure and framework will surely play a crucial role in our pursuit of the goal of becoming a world-class institution.

Experts Provide Guidance on UM’s Development

In response to the development of society and the consequent demand for high-quality professionals, UM has launched a series of initiatives geared towards long-term development, such as giving priority to new disciplines; establishing the Honours College; introducing a residential college system; implementing an innovative “4-in-1” education model that consists of discipline-specific education, general education, research and internship education, and community and peer education; and launching a series of systematic reforms in management and teaching system. The objective of these initiatives is to raise the quality of the university’s teaching, academic research and students. Now, in addition to these initiatives, there is also the International Advisory Committee whose members are experienced academic leaders. Their individual wisdom and their rich experience in university management will certainly play a positive role in guiding UM’s progress towards a world-class institution.

 

Should you have any query, please feel free to contact Ms. Albee Lei at(853)8397 4325 or albeelei@um.edu.mo or visit UM webpage www.um.edu.mo.

Publicado em 2012-01-13 18:05

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