UM vice rector Rui Martins chairs AULP’s annual meeting, notes Portuguese language’s increasing importance in China

The 27th annual meeting of the Association of Portuguese Speaking Universities (Associação das Universidades de Língua Portuguesa, AULP) was held from 10 July to 12 July at the State University of Campinas (SUC) in Brazil. The theme of this year’s meeting was ‘The Cultural Convergence of the Portuguese-Speaking World’. The event attracted faculty members and researchers from various Portuguese-speaking countries. Rui Martins, president of the AULP and vice rector (research) of the University of Macau (UM), said in his speech that the Portuguese language is becoming increasingly important in Asia, especially in China, which will create new opportunities for Portuguese-speaking professionals. 

Held in Campinas, the opening ceremony was attended by Rui Martins, UM’s vice rector for research; Maria Fernanda Rollo, minister of science, technology and higher education of Portugal; Marcelo Knobel, rector of SUC; Ney Carrasco, secretary of culture of Campinas; Clélio Campolina Diniz, former minister of science, technology and innovation of Brazil; Manuel Lubisse, Mozambique’s ambassador to Brazil; and other important guests. 

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Rui Martins said that the partnership between the AULP and SUC dates back to 1988, when the two institutions initiated collaboration with the support of SUC’s late rector Paulo Renato Costa Souza. Martins noted that the Macao SAR government and tertiary institutions in Macao have spared no effort to promote the philosophies of the AULP in Asia and South China. He added that the AULP has held five annual meetings in Macao, with each meeting attracting approximately 200 participants, including representatives from not only Portuguese-speaking countries, but also Asian countries such as China and Japan; this shows the increasing importance of the Portuguese language in Asia. 

Martins also mentioned that currently 35 universities in China offer Portuguese language majors, which is a significant progress compared to 2003, when only a handful of universities in Beijing and Shanghai offered Portuguese language education. He accredited the popularisation of Portuguese language education to the Chinese government’s policy to strengthen China’s collaboration with Portuguese-speaking countries, adding that the Chinese government has selected Macao as the platform for implementing this policy, which will create new opportunities for Portuguese-speaking professionals. 

Maria Fernanda Rollo also delivered a speech in which he stressed the important status of the Portuguese language and its role in connecting the AULP members. Following the speech, Marcelo Knobel invited participants to tour the SUC campus and attend several cultural exchange activities. This year marks the end of UM’s three-year presidency of the AULP. UM will continue to serve as a member of the AULP’s General Assembly. Orlando da Mata, rector of Mandume Ya Ndemufayo University, will succeed UM as the next president of the AULP. The next annual meeting of the AULP will be held in 2018 in Angola. 

Source: Rector's Office

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AULP’s 27th annual meeting takes place in Brazil

AULP’s 27th annual meeting takes place in Brazil
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