• A New Horizon for Student Recruitment
  • Partnership Further Strengthened
  • Contribution to Clean Air in Macau
  • Exchange Experience Sharpens Edge
  • UM Offers Three New Programs
  • A Look Back with Satisfaction
  • Visit to Shenzhen University
  • Cyber Link-Up
  • Making Learning a Fun Thing to Do
  • Appointments
  • A Sincere "Thank You"

 

Prof Iu Vai Pan was appointed rector around two years ago. After witnessing the development of the University for 12 years, he knew better what his mission would be as UM enters its third decade.

"We will strive to materialize our visions of sustaining UM as the leading higher education institution for teaching and research in Macau and of establishing the University into a regionally important one," proclaimed Prof Iu.

Prof Iu's blueprint for the University has taken shape over several different areas.

Offering more programs to help students meet the challenges of the new century is the critical notion. UM is currently conferring up to 80 different degrees to over 3000 students in five faculties. To cope with Macau's future development, Prof Iu is planning new programs in social sciences and biological sciences. "I think programs like these add substance to our mission in making contributions to Macau's economic development through education." This year, the University has seen a 20% rise in applications for all undergraduate programs. With more scholarships and the new doors opened for admission in 14 different provinces and regions in China, the University looks toward a brighter future in recruiting more students. A 20% cut in tuition will also help recruitment.

Enriching the quality of students' on-campus life is an ongoing priority. Therefore, part of the visionary excitement is to build more student hostels to accommodate several hundred students. "Often, international exchanges foster interaction with schoolmates from different parts of the world. The hostel is the ideal place for such exchanges for our students," expressed the Prof. In the near future, all freshmen will be required to spend the first whole year living on campus. Ten years ago UM started international exchanges with counterparts in Japan and Europe. Exchanges with universities in the USA will be the new emphasis now. 84 international students are on campus this academic year and the number will surely increase.

To support the expansion of UM, the quality and quantity of the faculty and staff constitute the framework for his blueprint. "We have 249 faculty staff out of whom 90 staff possess PhD degrees. Our goal is to have all faculty staff PhD qualified for most of the disciplines. By 2002, I would like to see half of the targeted number realized." To help reach the goal, UM has a program to sponsor staff to obtain PhD degrees through studying on and off campus. Currently, 90 staff have earned their PhDs from well-known universities such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, Oxford University, University of Cambridge, the University of Toronto, Beijing University and the University of Hong Kong.

With such potential and with continued recruitment of scholars from around the world, there is no doubt the rector's determination to strengthen UM's research efforts will be sustained. "We still hope to significantly increase funding for research over the years, and this year it is up to MOP$8 mil. The 130 papers published internationally last year left much room for greater achievements," declared Prof Iu. Recently, the University announced a MOP100,000 award to encourage efforts engaging faculty staff in good research. Last year, eight research centers on campus received funding to upgrade their equipment and to improve research environment.

Prompted by his engineering instincts, Prof Iu is taking the leading hand in drawing the growth chart for the University. It all sounds ambitious and will involve more busy years to come for Prof Iu, but he seems to take it all with pride and energy. "I love the University and, after all, it is my home of 12 years. I am proud of my dedicated staff and students and together we will make great history," said Prof Iu.