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 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.
Located in the east of Hengqin island, Guangdong province, on a piece of land rented by the Macao SAR government, 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. It can accommodate more than 10,000 students. Faculty, students, visitors, and Macao residents can enter and exit the campus conveniently through the underwater tunnel at any time of the day without going through immigration clearance.
The campus was designed by He Jingtang, a world-class architect and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He wanted to create a campus that is people-oriented, sustainable, modern, digitalised, comfortable, and energy-efficient, with a garden-style layout and a mixture of Chinese and Western cultural elements.
The various faculties are located along the central axis of the campus, with the buildings of different faculties connected through corridors, to facilitate interdisciplinary teaching and research activities and teacher-student interaction. UM has Asia’s largest residential college system, comprised of ten colleges. Different RCs are separated by green space and bodies of water.