The University of Macau is one of the founding members of AUAP (Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific), which was established in 1995. The first President of AUAP was the Rector of Suranaree University of Technology in Thailand, Prof. Wichit Srisa-an. In 1997, Prof. Donald MacNicol, Vice-Chancellor of University of Tasmania in Australia, was elected as the President of AUAP. Prof. Ruben C. Umaly is the Secretary-General of the Association, while the Rector of University of Macau, Prof. Zhou Li-Gao, as a board member, was elected as the Treasurer in 1997. The association is composed of more than 160 member universities in Asian and Pacific districts, including those in Thailand, Australia, China, Japan, Philippines, Korea and USA etc. For a better knowledge of AUAP, one can pay a visit to the AUAP homepage (http://sut2.sut.ac.th/auap/), in which the list of members and other details are shown, while this page serves to show the activities that University of Macau is involved in AUAP.
The University of Macau has been actively participating in its board meetings, international conferences, learning and sharing forums of specific themes and APDMEN (Asia Pacific Distance and Multimedia Education Network) workshop, of which the aim is to share thoughts with members and to make policies and strategies for global education.
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The 8th Board Meeting aimed to review the work that member universities have done for AUAP in the past year. In addition to examining the membership and final accounts of AUAP, which had been prepared by the Secretary General and signed by the treasurer, the discussion was focused on the promotion of information technology education studies, and the progress on the application to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) for the special project on information technology education organized by APDMEN (Asia Pacific Distance and Multi-media Education Network) under the AUAP as a "UNESCO Chair Program".
The title is "From Academia to Job Market: Improving the Employability of University Graduates".
Most of the participants were Rectors and senior administrative or academic personnel from various universities. There were totally around 40 representatives from 17 countries and districts, such as Australia, Newzealand, Philippines, Thailand, India, Japan, America, Macau, Korea, Taiwan, China, Iran, Russia, Indonesia and Malaysia etc. The participants were warmly received by Kyung Hee University and were entertained with two banquets presided over by the Minister and Vice Minister of Education in Korea and the Governor of Kionggi Province of Korea.
Due to the financial crisis in Asia in the recent years, economy instability happened to many countries and districts. In the forum, ideas were exchanged on its impact on university graduates' employability and measures were explored for betterment of their competence for employability.
There were totally 18 papers. Among them two papers were presented by representatives of University of Macau. The first one was presented by the Rector, Prof. Zhou Li-Gao, who jointly prepared this paper together with Mr. Roberto Noronha. The title was "The Analysis of the Employment of Graduates of the University of Macau and the Prospects of the Improvement of Employability". The paper was divided into two parts. The first part was an analysis on the situation in recent years of the employability of graduates of University of Macau. As affected by the Asian financial crisis, the employment rate in October 1998 was lowered to 56.5%, with a decrease by around 20%. Analyses and statistics were also made on the relationship between employment and specialization, the main professions they had entered and initial salary level etc. The second part was the university's measures for enhancing graduates' competence on employability, such as organizing employability experience exchanges; improving students' application skills and advising them to practically face the reality in choosing jobs by lowering their expectation (salary and benefit etc.); conducting students in choosing specialization during admission to the university; and improving fostering process in order to strengthen students' competence for employability, for example, by arranging practice projects in order to enrich students' knowledge with practical experience, which is usually required by employers.
Another paper, titled "Higher Education Student Recruitment and Selection: The Macau Perspectives", was presented by Assistant Prof. Leong Man-wai in Centre for Continuing Studies and Special Programmes of University of Macau. This paper was jointly prepared by Assistant Prof. Leong Man-wai and the Director of Academic Affairs of Macau Polytechnic. In the presentation the higher education in Macau was introduced, and some suggestions on improving graduates' employability were raised.
The two papers were warmly welcomed. They received high attention and aroused active discussion.
After two days' presentation and discussion, the forum was successfully closed. Kyung Hee University hosted a banquet to warmly entertain all the participants. On behalf of the University of Macau, the Rector, Prof. Zhou Li-Gao, presented a souvenir to the President of Kyung Hee University during the banquet. After the AUAP meeting in Tasmania in 1997, University of Macau and Kyung Hee University signed a cooperation agreement. During the visit, the Rector of University of Macau and the President of Kyung Hee University discussed the possibility of exchanging students between the two universities in Chinese Study, Portuguese Study or other areas.
AUAP organized a workshop for APDMEN (Asia Pacific Distance and Multimedia Education Network), which was set up in 1997, is important for a university to strive for internationalization and recognition.
APDMEN forged an agreement with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) in undertaking a trial run of a distance learning system in Asia. During the one year period of 1998/99, educational programs on selected topics of mutual interest and benefit among the participating universities will be broadcasted from Tokyo and will be received in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. With successful trial, a network of Regional Virtual Campuses will be established with the participating universities serving as the core or necleus of the network. Other universities will be encouraged to join after the trial period.
The high quality Video Communication will permit students in distant campuses to see the lecturer and the lecture materials on a large screen and for the lecturer to monitor the attendants' reactions in class. A two-way communication will be possible between the lecturers and the participants. The program will also permit the lecturer to send multimedia teaching-learning materials to the participants' PCs in distant location.
It is also planned that collaborative research in distant location would be possible. There will be interconnection between the respective Universities' LANs with broadband satellite circuits that would enable the exchange and sharing of information through video and character-based media, thus creating virtual laboratories in distant academic faculties.
With the rapid development of information technology, distance and multi-media education has been receiving high attention widely from the world. APDMEN, as supported by UNESCO, was strongly promoted and studied in Asia and Pacific districts in these years. The workshop was divided into 6 sessions: Plenary Session; Curriculum, library and teaching contents; Satellite and Internet Distance Education; Virtual University Network; Mobile and Multi-media Education; Conclusion.
The Rector, Prof. Zhou Li-Gao was invited to participate in the APDMEN Core Meeting on 27th April, and to chair the plenary session of the workshop on 28th April. In the plenary session, the member of the National Assembly of Korea, Mr. Kam Hyong-O and the representative of the Korean Education Ministry made detailed reports. Prof. Ryutaro Manabe of Bunkyo University of Japan, the coordinator of the project, made an introduction on the five-year development plan of the APDMEN, in which "Virtual University" was included. All these reports aroused deep interest of the audience. Warm discussion was made. Prof. Zhou Li-Gao drew the attention to the issue on assurance of the quality of distance education. During the meeting a demonstration of audio-visual meeting system between Tokyo and Seoul as organized by NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) of Japan was made. All of these have shown their strong technical support for the development of distance education technology.
Last Modified : 03 September, 1999