Founded in 1981, the University of Macau (UM) is the only internationalised public comprehensive university in Macao, with a modern governance model, 80 per cent of its faculty members are from outside Macao. With English as the main medium of instruction, the university is committed to producing creative and socially responsible graduates with a global mindset and international competitiveness.
Teaching units at UM include 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, Honours College, Graduate School, and Centre for Continuing Education. Research institutes include Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, Institute of Collaborative Innovation, Institute of Microelectronics, Asia-Pacific Academy of Economics and Management, and Centre for Macau Studies.
Currently, there are more than 12,500 students at UM. For undergraduate education, the university adopts a ‘4-in-1’ collaborative education model, which consists of discipline-specific education, general education, research and internship education, and community and peer education. With a credit system and a collegiate system, the university offers over 100 degree programmes at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, covering a variety of fields, including literature, language, business administration, marketing, accounting, finance, international integrated resort management, science, education, biomedical science, law, history, economics, psychology, sociology, communication, engineering, computer science, and Chinese medical sciences.
UM is ranked in the 201-250 bracket in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, with a global ranking of No 5 in International Outlook, No 26 in the THE Young University Rankings, No 33 in the THE Asia University Rankings, and No 1 in the Association of Portuguese Speaking Universities. In the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, it is ranked No 304. It is among the top 1% in Essential Sciences Indicators (ESI) rankings in ten subjects, namely Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Materials Science, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Clinical Medicine, Psychiatry/Psychology, Biology & Biochemistry, Social Sciences General, and Agricultural Sciences.
UM is an international university with a multicultural campus. It adopts a modern governance model and recruits faculty members internationally. 80 per cent of its faculty members are from outside Macao. The fact that English is the main medium of instruction at UM has attracted outstanding students from around the world, which in turn has created a vibrant, multicultural campus.
The university constantly expands its international network and actively builds new platforms for international collaboration in order to broaden the students’ horizons. UM has developed partnerships with more than 320 higher education institutions spanning over 30 countries and regions, and has signed agreements on student exchange with over 150 higher education institutions in 24 of these countries and regions.
The university also provides students with many internship opportunities, both local and overseas, in order to enhance their employability upon graduation.
UM has recruited a team of high-calibre faculty members from around the world. Many of them have earned prestigious titles, such as member of Academia Europaea (Academy of Europe), fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, member of the Portuguese Academy of Sciences, fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, fellow of the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers, and Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professor (Ministry of Education).
Not only does the university constantly search for high-calibre scholars, but it also offers attractive work conditions to enable faculty members to achieve their full potential. For example, the university offers the UM Macao Talent Programme to nurture young local scholars and to encourage talented professionals to develop their careers in Macao.
A Unique Residential College System
UM’s residential college (RC) system provides a platform for knowledge integration based on the university’s ‘4-in-1’ model of whole-person education. This is unique among universities in Macao. There are currently ten RCs at UM, namely Chao Kuang Piu College, Cheng Yu Tung College, Cheong Kun Lun College, Choi Kai Yau College, Henry Fok Pearl Jubilee College, Lui Che Woo College, Ma Man Kei and Lo Pak Sam College, Moon Chun Memorial College, Shiu Pong College, and Stanley Ho East Asia College. As a complement to the university’s faculty-based system, the RCs serve as a vehicle for whole-person education through systematic planning of experiential programmes, with the aim of nurturing students who are successful in their studies and of high moral character. The RCs strive to enhance students’ seven competencies: civic responsibility, global competitiveness, knowledge integration, teamwork, service and leadership, cultural engagement, and healthy living.
UM adopts a research policy that can be summarised as ‘highlighting characteristics, leveraging strengths, creating peaks, and strengthening cooperation’, with a focus on supporting academic disciplines that reflect Macao’s characteristics, meet the needs of Macao and the country, and are in line with international trends. UM has established a ‘3+3+3+3’ strategic research blueprint, with the four ‘3s’ referring to three state key laboratories (State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal VLSI, State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City and State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine), three emerging research fields (precision medicine, advanced materials, and regional oceanology), three interdisciplinary research fields (cognitive and brain sciences, data science, artificial intelligence and robotics), and three research platforms for the humanities and social sciences (Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Centre for Macao Studies, and Asia-Pacific Academy of Economics and Management). The university encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, especially the integration of modern technology, humanities, and social sciences.
At the same time, UM is strengthening entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer to enhance the social impact of its research results. Zhuhai UM Science & Technology Research Institute was the first industry-academia collaboration demonstration base established by UM and UMTEC Limited in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) for this very purpose. The institute is a hub of cooperation between Zhuhai and Macao in building an international science and technology innovation centre in the GBA. It relies on the research strengths of the three state key laboratories and institutes with competitive disciplines to integrate into the GBA and participate in national research projects, promote technology transfer, and foster emerging industries. The university’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has received approval to serve as a national co-working space. Via the centre, UM faculty members and students have established more than 40 companies to facilitate technology transfer.
According to statistics from the Web of Science (WOS), the number of papers published by UM scholars in high-impact journals increased from 77 in 2007 to 2,379 in 2021, with over 68,877 citations in 2021. Chip research is a key research area at UM. Chip researchers at UM aim to develop analogue and mixed-signal integrated circuits and systems, and to establish advanced research and development platforms. They have received a second prize of the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award. At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference 2019, the university was ranked second in the world in terms of the number of papers accepted by the conference, next only to Intel. Chinese medicine is another signature research area at UM. Researchers in this field focus on the quality of Chinese medicine and international standards. They have established quality standards for over 10 Chinese medicinal plants. The researchers have received a second prize of the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, gold awards at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Technology Progress Awards in Macao, and a Medal of Merit – Professions in Macao.
Building Strong Alliances
UM has established close strategic partnerships with leading academic institutions in China and abroad, including those in Portuguese- and English-speaking countries. The university has launched joint training programmes with a number of world-renowned universities, including Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Bristol, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bath, the University of Toronto, Temple University, Washington University in St Louis, the University of Lisbon, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Zhejiang University, and the South China University of Technology.
In addition, UM has established five joint laboratories with institutes under the Chinese Academy of Sciences to carry out joint research and development projects in five areas, namely brain science, artificial intelligence, spatial information, marine environment and ocean engineering, and precision medicine.
The university has spared no effort in the study of the different aspects of Macao, including literature, history, society, law, education, and commerce, in order to provide empirical data and advanced theories for enriching the cultural life and enhancing the well-being of Macao residents. It has established the Macao Base for Primary & Secondary Education in Humanities & Social Sciences, and the Macao Base for Primary & Secondary STEM Education to support basic education in Macao. In addition, UM actively supports Macao’s development into ‘One Centre, One Platform, and One Base’ by nurturing professionals in various fields, including the Chinese and Portuguese languages, Chinese history and culture, data science, innovation and entrepreneurship, physics, chemistry, and biology.
In line with the Macao SAR government’s policy ‘Education for Macao, Talent for Macao’, the university continues to offer new degree programmes to nurture more high-level professionals to promote economic diversification in Macao. In 2020, it established the Public Administration Training Centre to help build a talent pipeline for the Macao SAR government.
An Environment Conducive to Education
Thanks to the support of the central and Macao SAR governments, UM received approval in 2009 to build its new campus on Hengqin island in Guangdong province, which would come under the jurisdiction of the Macao SAR government. Then President Hu Jintao officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the campus on 20 December 2009. UM relocated to the new campus in 2014. Separated from Taipa by a river, the campus covers approximately one square kilometre, with the lush Hengqin Hill serving as a beautiful backdrop. Designed with a people-centred approach, the campus aims to provide an environment that is conducive to scholarly pursuits. The campus is equipped with a complete set of teaching facilities, including a well-stocked library, the University Hall, a swimming pool, a sports complex, an archery range, basketball courts, a sports climbing wall, and gym rooms.
Support to the University
UM has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks to the support of the central government, the Macao SAR government, and all sectors of society. Both the current president, Xi Jinping, and the former president, Hu Jintao, have visited UM and given important instructions for the university’s future development. In 2018, President Xi replied to a joint letter from UM and several other higher education institutions in Macao, instructing them to cultivate more patriotic and Macao-loving talent and create more scientific and technological achievements.
As a public comprehensive university in Macao, with the Macao SAR chief executive serving as its chancellor and chair of the University Assembly, UM enjoys the unparalleled advantage of having the unreserved support of the SAR government. In 2016, it became the first institution of higher learning in Macao to receive the Medal of Merit—Education from the SAR government, in recognition of its contributions to education.
Vision and Mission
Today’s UM is on the threshold of a new era. It will continue to uphold the five virtues listed in the university motto, namely humanity, integrity, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity, to make further improvements and bring about innovation. As a university firmly rooted in Macao, UM strives to participate in the development of the GBA, integrate itself into national development, and reach out to the world. UM aims to become an internationally recognised university of excellence through quality student-centred education, internationally impactful research, and high-quality community services.
UM Emblem and Motto
The emblem of UM features a five-towered crest encircled by golden rings and the name of the university in Chinese and Portuguese.
- The key on the book is the key to knowledge.
- The waves represent the university’s inland setting in the South China Sea.
- The bridge links together Eastern and Western cultures.
- On the ribbon is a Chinese motto listing the five virtues of an ideal scholar: humanity, integrity, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity.
- The colours are red for hope, blue for the joy of well-being, and gold for the advancement of humanity.
Rector and Vice Rectors
Faculties / Institutes
- 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
- Honours College
- Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences
- Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering
- Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences
- Institute of Collaborative Innovation
- Institute of Microelectronics
- Asia-Pacific Academy of Economics and Management
- Centre for Macau Studies