The University of Macau (UM) today (11 November) held the Ceremony for the Conferment of Honorary and Higher Degrees 2017. This year, UM awarded graduation certificates to 1,008 graduates of PhD, master’s, and postgraduate diploma/certificate programmes. At the ceremony, Lam Kam Sen, chair of UM’s University Council and representative of the UM chancellor, said that nurturing talented people for society is the mission of a university. As a leading educational institution in Macao, it is incumbent upon UM to do so. UM Rector Wei Zhao said that all world-class universities share the same goal: to provide the best education for outstanding young people in the local community. In this regard, UM has the obligation to do just the same: nurturing outstanding graduates to be future leaders for Macao, our motherland, and the world.
‘A university is an institution developed to instil virtue and integrity while engaged in the pursuit of excellence. In other words, it is a perpetual journey of edification in our moral system and values,’ said Wei Zhao at the ceremony. ‘As such, any nation or region needs its own exemplary flagship university as the carrier of its profound historical tradition and cultural heritage. In this sense, the cultural legacy of Macao needs to be preserved and passed on by a flagship university. Only a world-class university or one determined to become so is able to retain and nurture the best people, and the primary mission of UM is to nurture talented graduates for Macao.’ He believes that a university offers a window for the world to look into the community or region to which it belongs. ‘A flagship university represents the region in terms of its scientific, technological and cultural development.’ he said. ‘UM has been pursuing academic and research excellence. Quality research not only enhances the reputation of Macao, but also is a driving force for its socio-economic progress and represents its future.’
Zhao offered his heartfelt congratulations to all the graduates. ‘This is the 16th time for me to offer my encouragement to another cohort of graduates and wish them all the best for their future,’ he said. ‘I remember these joyous occasions as if they all happened yesterday, all of which are memories I hold near and dear to my heart. Dear graduates, my heartfelt congratulations to you again! Meanwhile, as the rector, I’d like to say thank you! I always believe that you are important participants and contributors in building this university to be world class. UM has made tremendous progress in its campus development and research over the past few years. All of you have made significant contributions and sacrifice. UM thanks you all!’
Ermelinda Crestejo, representative of the graduates, also delivered a speech at the ceremony. She said, ‘On behalf of all the higher degree graduates, I would like to say two words from the bottom of my heart to our teachers and our families, especially our parents, “Thank you.” To our University and to our central and local governments, thank you for providing us with a wonderful environment for learning and a welcoming home away from home.’ She added, ‘Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. There is a future full of adventures and opportunities ahead of us. As we embark on this new journey, let us not forget what we want to achieve in life, and what we can contribute to our society and humanity. We all have different goals and different ideas of success, but we should not let others define the life that we want to lead. Instead, we should follow our dreams and never give up.’
This year, 1,008 students of PhD, master’s, and postgraduate certificate/diploma programmes from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Science and Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering, and Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences received graduation certificates. Among these graduates, 136 received PhD degrees, 779 received master’s degrees, and 93 received postgraduate certificates or diplomas. In addition, scholarships were presented to 21 outstanding master’s students and graduates.