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
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.