Several state leaders have visited the University of Macau (UM), including President Xi Jinping, who visited UM in 2014 and talked to students in one of the residential colleges; the former president Hu Jintao, who officiated at the new campus groundbreaking ceremony in 2009; and the former vice premier of the State Council Wang Yang, who officiated at the new campus inauguration ceremony in 2013. The UM campus is located in the east of Hengqin Island, Guangdong province, on a piece of land leased to the Macao SAR government, but is under the jurisdiction of the Macao SAR, an innovative implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy. It reflects the great support of the central and Macao SAR governments for higher education development in Macao.
The campus is separated from Taipa by a river, with the lush Hengqin Hill serving as a beautiful backdrop. It covers 1.09 km2, with a gross floor area of 820,000m2 and more than 60 buildings. Faculty, students, and Macao residents can enter and exit the campus conveniently through the underwater tunnel.
The campus was designed by He Jingtang, a world-class architect and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He was committed to creating a campus that is people-oriented, sustainable, modern, digitalised, comfortable, and energy-efficient, with a garden-style layout and a mixture of elements of Chinese and Western cultures.
The eight faculties are located along the central axis of the campus, with the buildings of different faculties connected through corridors, to facilitate inter-disciplinary activities and teacher-student interaction. UM has Asia’s largest residential college system, comprised of ten colleges.