The University of Macau (UM) recently held virtually the 30th annual meeting of the Association of Portuguese Speaking Universities (Associação das Universidades de Língua Portuguesa, AULP).
Titled ‘Dialogue of Cultures and Promotion of Portuguese Language Teaching in China’, the meeting attracted participants from Macao and eight countries. They included members of the Executive Council of AULP and representatives of Portuguese-speaking universities. In addition, Rui Martins, vice rector of UM, was nominated an honorary member of AULP for his significant contribution to the association over the years.
As the sixth edition of the AULP annual meeting hosted in Macao, the two-day event included several sessions, such as the meeting of the General Assembly, the Executive Council Meeting, and open information sessions. During the General Assembly meeting, over 50 AULP members elected the University of Coimbra as its next president for the term of 2021 to 2024, during which UM will serve as one of the vice presidents. AULP members also praised the quality of this year’s virtual annual meeting as well as the efforts of UM to organise the meeting in this special circumstance. At the end of the meeting, Prof Orlando da Mata, president of AULP and rector of Mandume Ya Ndemufayo University, announced the nomination of Prof Rui Martins as honorary member of AULP for his significant contribution to the association over the years. Participants in the meeting also decided that the 31st annual meeting of AULP would take place at the University of Coimbra, in Portugal, in 2022.
During one of the sessions, Prof Martins reported that UM and the Institute for the Development and Quality of Macao (IDQ-Macau) in October 2020 donated ventilator prototypes to two African universities, namely Universidade Mandume Ya Ndemufayo in Angola and Pedagogical University of Maputo in Mozambique . The prototypes are the result of research collaboration between UM and IDQ-Macau on an initiative to develop low-cost and high-quality ventilators. The donation aimed to help the two countries fight the pandemic and to promote technology transfer and long-term cooperation among institutions in Portuguese-speaking countries. The ventilators have already received industrial and medical certifications from both countries and are being actively studied for possible mass production.
During another session, Prof Martins presented two commemorative books written by UM scholars, namely Recuperar Macau: A Sobrevida das Letras em Português na Cidade Chinesa de Macau by Prof Fernanda Costa and Historical Sources on Macau in the Historical Archives of Goa. XVI to XIX Centuries: A Catalogue by Prof António Saldanha. Moreover, in the final session, members of the AULP Secretariat in Lisbon presented the AULP Mobility programme, which provided an opportunity for hundreds of students from Portuguese-speaking countries to join academic exchange trips to AULP member universities.
In the face of the challenges and difficulties posed by the pandemic, AULP members have been working closely together through various initiatives and collaborative projects. Under an initiative of UM, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, 20 well-known universities and academic institutions in Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries jointly established the Academic Library Alliance between Macao Special Administrative Region (China) and the Portuguese Speaking Countries (ABAMAPLP). The alliance will serve as a platform for academic exchange between China and Portuguese-speaking countries to promote the sharing of Portuguese teaching resources and the training of Chinese-Portuguese bilingual professionals.
AULP is an international academic organisation with more than 200 members from Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste, and Macao. The organisation is dedicated to promoting cooperation and information exchange among its members as well as the development of education and the Portuguese language worldwide. Currently, there are seven member institutions from Macao, namely UM, Macao Polytechnic Institute, the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, the University of Saint Joseph, the City University of Macau, the International Institute of Macau, and the Institute of European Studies of Macau.
Source: UM Library