The University of Macau (UM) today (28 May) held the Congregation 2022. Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U, representing the chief executive and UM chancellor at this year’s ceremony, said that the university has made great strides in many areas, such as nurturing outstanding patriotic talent for Macao, accelerating research innovation and industry-academia collaboration, as well as setting up joint training programmes and research platforms with mainland institutions, adding that the university’s academic standing and international reputation have been further elevated.
Secretary Ao Ieong officiated at the ceremony in the company of UM University Council Chair Lam Kam Seng, UM Rector Yonghua Song, and Vice Rectors Michael Hui, Rui Martins, Ge Wei, Mok Kai Meng, and Xu Jian. Representatives of the University Assembly, University Council, and Senate, as well as government officials, prominent members of the community, UM faculty and staff, and student representatives also witnessed the ceremony. Companions of graduates attending the ceremony watched the live streaming of the event at four locations on campus, while graduates and their families and friends who were unable to attend the ceremony in person participated in the event online.
In her speech, Secretary Ao Ieong said: ‘As a public university in Macao, UM has always aligned itself with major national development strategies and fully supported the SAR government’s policy vision and directions. The university has made great strides in many areas, such as nurturing outstanding patriotic talent for Macao, accelerating research innovation and industry-academia-research collaboration, and setting up joint training programmes and research platforms with the Chinese Mainland. Accordingly, its academic standing and international reputation have become further elevated. In 2021, which marked UM’s 40th anniversary, the university formulated its own Five-Year Plan in line with the SAR Government’s second Five-Year Plan. The plan is expected to serve as a framework and blueprint for the university over the next five years. We expect that UM will translate the plan into specific and practical actions, and continue to strengthen its educational philosophy and features. We hope that UM will grasp opportunities arising from the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and participate in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, enhancing the quality of talent training and industry-academia-research collaboration through regional cooperation.’
In his speech, Rector Song said: ‘As the administrator of the university, I have had to assume responsibility in the face of the unprecedented difficulties and do my utmost to safeguard the physical and mental health of students, faculty and staff in the midst of a pandemic, while ensuring the smooth operation of the university’s teaching and research. At the same time, I have also continued to improve the talent cultivation system to meet the development needs of the country and the SAR, explore new paths in the mechanism to encourage research innovation and transfer of results and to satisfy market demands, strengthen the university’s social service, and make rational and efficient use of resources to actively promote the development of UM. I am very pleased and also touched that our efforts have received the appreciation, cooperation and support of all our faculty and students, and that all specific areas of work in the university achieved unprecedented synergy, moving forward hand in hand and overcoming difficulties. This unity of purpose and effort has veritably enabled the university to sustain its momentum and enhance its international reputation. It has also given me greater confidence for the future development of the University of Macau!’ Rector Song also shared three ideas with the fresh graduates to encourage them to stay positive and be resilient, to make a mark and say no to ‘lying flat’, and to expand their horizons.
Pan Ranyan, representative of this year’s graduates, said in her speech that the university has offered many opportunities for its students to broaden their horizons. According to her, she was able to engage with outstanding students from various backgrounds through her research project at the Honours College. Together they joined heated discussions on course projects and social issues and made a great effort to organise different kinds of activities, which helped them grow into individuals with professional knowledge, critical minds, and team spirit. ‘Though COVID-19 put us into dark days, we gradually adapted to it and overcame the drastic changes brought by the pandemic. I found it encouraging that we could learn to achieve effective communication and provide support for each other online in such a short period of time,’ she said. At the end of her speech, Pan encouraged all graduating students to be brave and embrace the next chapter in life.
This year, more than 1,800 students of bachelor’s degree programmes, from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, and Faculty of Science and Technology received their graduation certificates. Among these students, 125 have completed the Honours Programme offered by the Honours College.
In addition, the UM National Flag Team held a flag-raising ceremony at 8:00am on the day of the graduation ceremony in the Lotus Square to convey good wishes to all fresh graduates. The ceremony was attended by representatives of graduates from all residential colleges as well as their families and friends.