|-Rector Iu Vai Pan
gives an address during the graduation.
University of Macau Congregation 2001/2002
Speech by Rector Iu Vai Pan
I am honoured by the gracious presence
of the Most Respected Mr Ho Hau Wah, Chief Executive
of Macao SAR, in his capacity as Chancellor of UM to
preside over the congregation for the academic year 2001/2002.
Mr Chancellor will confer the honourary degree of Doctor
of Science upon Fields Medallist Professor Yau Shing
Tung, a world-renowned mathematician and a dear friend
Today we witness the awarding of two doctoral degrees,
90 Master's, 398 Bachelor's, 72 "Bacharelato", 34 postgraduate certificates
in Education and 17 in History, respectively, and 68 certificates in "Introduction
to Macao Law".
This year we have seen a significant increase of 18% in the number of
local applications to our Bachelor's programmes. We received 2,462 and
1,477 applications from Macao and China respectively. In order to admit
better students, higher admission scores were required. Hence, despite
a big increase in applications, the number of new students in the Bachelor's
programmes increased only 4%. Today, there are 4,645 students enrolled
in UM programmes with 25 doing PhD studies, 852 Master's, 3641 Bachelor
and "Bacharelato", and 127 postgraduate certificates.
Two years ago, a postgraduate studentship scheme was created to attract
quality students to study in our Master's programmes and to assist in
research activities in UM. The scheme has now been expanded and extended
to PhD students. With the support and recommendation of the Ministry
of Education of China, a group of excellent graduates holding Master's
degrees from key universities in China have just started their PhD studies
Our continuous efforts in recruiting academic staff internationally and
in promoting staff development through PhD studies have resulted in a
significant improvement of the quality of our academic staff. The number
of PhDs has increased from 100 in 2001 to 120, which amounts to 45% of
the total academic staff teaching university courses.
In terms of curriculum development, we have spent considerable efforts
in the revision of a number of our programmes, including the BA in Journalism
and Public Communication, and the MEd in Educational Psychology and Educational
Administration. We have re-offered the Master's degree programme in European
Studies in conjunction with the Institute of European Studies of Macau
and also the Bachelor's in Portuguese Language and Culture. Four new
programmes, namely, the BSSc in Psychology, the BA in Portuguese Studies,
and the MS in Chinese Medicinal Science and in Medicinal Administration,
started this semester and drew a very enthusiastic response.
In awarding three gambling licenses, Macao faces an increased need for
people skilled in gaming management. UM responded by organising a new
programme in gaming management and developing study and research in gaming
management. We have signed an agreement of co-operation with the University
of Nevada at Reno and its world-renowned Institute for the Study of Gambling
and Commercial Gaming. The new Bachelor's programme in gaming management
is scheduled to start in the next academic year.
Some recent institutional developments in UM are the creation of 1) an
English Language Centre to coordinate, enhance and provide more support
to the learning and teaching of the English language; and 2) six laboratories
including Automobile Engineering, Computer-Aided Civil Engineering, Telecommunications,
Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Medicine Information. The establishment of
an Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences has reached its final stage
and will soon be in full operation for teaching and research in Chinese
During the past year we set up an Ad Hoc Committee on Teaching Quality.
The Committee has consulted widely before reporting its findings. We
are in the process of deliberating on the report on teaching quality
before implementing definite measures to this end.
As an indication of the quality of our administrative services, the General
Administration Bureau, Computer Service Bureau, Personnel Office and
Procurement Office, have received ISO 9000 certification, which makes
UM the first higher education institute in Macao certified with the ISO
9001:2000 quality system. It is our aim to achieve ISO 9000 certification
for the whole administration of UM within this academic year.
To further develop graduate education, we will set up a Graduate School
which will provide the systematic auspices to monitor the progress of
graduate studies and to promote standards. The School will enable the
effective mounting of inter-disciplinary programmes and strategic alliances
with other universities. It will also be a spawning ground for inter-disciplinary
research, and especially mission-oriented applied research.
UM allocated MOP15 million for research in 2002. For the first half of
the year, the Research Committee (RC) supported 32 projects and 39 participations
in international conferences. For the year 2001/2002, the RC supported
a total of 74 research projects. UM research resulted in over 60 papers
published in international journals and 140 presentations at international
UM has been actively leading the work of Institute of Systems and Computer
Engineering as well as the Institute for Development and Quality, Macau.
Our department and staff have been providing consultancy services to
government bureaus, public bodies, associations and corporate companies
on various projects involving R&D, surveys and training. We participate
in the provision of professional training for the unemployed as initiated
by the government and have provided 300 places in five programmes. Through
a protocol between UM and an overseas microelectronics design company,
a high-tech microelectronics design company was established in Macao
and is being run by a group of 20 young professionals who are our graduates.
We are considering setting up a company to undertake consultancy work
with the private sector so as to share our expertise with Macao society.
In the international dimension, we are active in the Association of Universities
of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP), the University Mobility in Asia and the
Pacific, the International Association of Universities and the International
Association of University Presidents (IAUP). In 2003 we will be hosting
the board meetings of AUAP and the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities,
and co-organizing the board meeting of the Association of Universities
of Portuguese Language. Among other international conferences, we will
look forward to hosting in 2003 the International Herbal Medicine Workshop
sponsored by the ASEAN Foundation and the 9th International Conference
on Enhancement and Promotion of Computational Methods in Engineering
and Science (EPMESC). It is worth mentioning that the EPMESC international
conference is the longest-running series of international conferences
in computational methods in Asia, and UM has been participating in the
organization since its inception in 1985. In the academic year, we had
91 exchange students come from over 40 universities of 11 countries and
we sent out 87 of our students on exchange. Recently, we joined a University
Presidents Exchange programme organized by IAUP that will facilitate
a good channel for learning and sharing of the best practice in university
administration and management.
We have drawn up a development plan for our campus, and I am happy that
it has already been approved by the Public Works Department. The implementation
of the first phase, comprising a classroom, office building and a student
hostel, is expected to start early next year.
Finally, I would enjoin our graduates to maintain contact with UM. The
awarding of a degree marks the completion of a stage in your education,
but you will go on to another stage because education is a life-long
process. Likewise, this marks the end of your association with UM as
a student, but at the same time it signifies the beginning of your further
association with UM as alumni. We are proud of what we have achieved,
and we are constantly making improvements. You should be proud that you
have graduated from UM. Come back and help make UM a place you can be
Finally, I wish you all good health, success and a boundlessly bright