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 Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Honours College, Graduate School, and Centre for Continuing Education. Research institutes include Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering, Institute of Collaborative Innovation, Institute of Microelectronics, Centre for Macau Studies, Asia-Pacific Academy of Economics and Management, and Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Currently, there are more than 10,000 students at UM. For undergraduate students, the university provides a unique ‘4-in-1’ education, which consists of discipline-specific education, general education, research and internship education, and community and peer education. Adopting a credit system and a collegiate system, the university offers around 130 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 301-350 bracket in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, with a global ranking of No 6 in International Outlook, No 38 in the THE Asia University Rankings, No 39 in the THE Young University Rankings, and No 2 in the Association of Portuguese Speaking Universities. In the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, it is ranked No 322. In the Essential Sciences Indicators (ESI) rankings, it is among the top 1 per cent in ten subjects, namely Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Materials Science, Biology & Biochemistry, Clinical Medicine, Psychiatry/Psychology, Social Sciences, General, and Agricultural Science.
An International University
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. It has established collaboration agreements with more than 250 institutions of higher learning in over 30 countries and regions. UM students can choose from over 150 institutions around the world for exchange programmes or overseas studies. The university also provides students with many internship opportunities, both local and overseas, in order to enhance their employability upon graduation.
UM has an outstanding team of faculty members, many of whom 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 Institution of Engineering and Technology, fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, member of the Portuguese Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, fellow of the American Psychological Association, president of the IEEE’s Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professor (Ministry of Education).
Not only does the university constantly search for high-calibre scholars, it also offers attractive work conditions to enable faculty members to achieve their full potential. In addition, it has launched 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 is the only university in Macao to implement a residential college system. In fact, its RC system is the largest in Asia. 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 faculty-based system, the RCs serve as a vehicle for whole-person education through systematic planning of experiential programmes. RCs aim to nurture students into compassionate and socially responsible individuals with the ability for self-reflection amid a culturally diverse and intellectually stimulating environment, 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 strategic ‘3+3+3+3’ research blueprint, with the four ‘3s’ referring to three state key laboratories (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal VLSI, and State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City), 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 in 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. In addition, UM faculty and students have established more than 30 companies to facilitate technology transfer. The university’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has obtained approval to serve as a national co-working space, showing full recognition of the university’s efforts in industry-academia collaboration.
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 over 2,000 in 2020, with over 42,000 citations in 2020. 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, 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 received a second prize of the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, international invention gold awards for innovative Chinese medicine products, and more than 40 special science and technology awards 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 Toronto, the University of Porto, the University of Lisbon, the University of Coimbra, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Zhejiang University, and South China University of Technology.
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 language, 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, an Olympic-standard 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 the only 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.
Looking to the Future
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. Having positioned itself as a university of Macao and for Macao, it will actively participate in the development of the Greater Bay Area, align with national development strategy, and strive to become more international. It aspires to be a university of excellence that is the pride of Macao residents and recognised by academic communities both at home and abroad.
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
‘4 in 1’ Education Model
UM implements a ‘4-in-1’ education model to meet students’ different needs at different stages. This model consists of discipline-specific education, general education, research and internship education, and community and peer education. Inspired by the examples of world-class universities, UM introduced a residential college system to help students achieve well-rounded development. It has also established Macao’s first Honours College to produce future leaders for society, and has launched new general education courses to broaden students’ horizons and enhance their international competitiveness. The university also implements a research and internship programme to create opportunities for undergraduates to participate in scientific research projects and to give them a head start in career planning.
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
- Centre for Macau Studies
- Asia-Pacific Academy of Economics and Management