The University of Macau (UM) today (17 January) held an opening ceremony to kick off the celebration for its 40th anniversary. Many distinguished guests attended the ceremony held in the plaza in front of the university library to witness this important moment and share the joy of the anniversary. They included officials of the Macao SAR government and offices of the central government in Macao, Legislative Assembly members, representatives of the education sector, scholarship donors, representatives of UM’s partner institutions, as well as UM faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
The opening ceremony began with a video that reviewed the history and development of the university over the past four decades. The following guests officiated at the opening ceremony: Ao Ieong U, secretary for social affairs and culture of the Macao SAR and representative of the chief executive of the Macao SAR; Tse Chi Wai, former chair of the UM University Council; Lam Kam Seng, current chair of the UM University Council; Iu Vai Pan and Wei Zhao, former rectors of UM; Yonghua Song, current rector of UM; Ao Peng Kong, representative of the UM Alumni Association; and Billy Su, president of the General Assembly of the UM Students’ Union.
In her speech, Ao Ieong said that UM is not only a microcosm of higher education development in Macao, but also an important witness to, and participant in, the development of Macao. In 2009, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the construction of a new campus in Hengqin, giving UM the beautiful campus it has today and creating better conditions for the university’s development. The university is now ranked among the top in Asia and places equal emphasis on teaching and research, with a number of state key laboratories and strong capabilities in areas such as chip research, quality research in Chinese medicine, and internet of things for smart cities. In certain areas, it is a world leader. None of this would have been possible without the rapid development of Macao and the support of the country.
In his speech, Rector Song said that the year 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the university and the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan of China. As Macao integrates into the development of the country, new opportunities beckon. With an open and confident mindset, and an innovative and enterprising attitude, UM takes stock of past achievements on the milestone of its 40th anniversary and sets sail for new horizons. Looking ahead, UM will continue to fulfil its social responsibility and align with the SAR government’s policies and directions in higher education and technological innovation, through quality education, technology transfer, and service to society, in order to promote the diversification and sustainable development of Macao’s industries.
The anniversary slogan ‘Set sail anew on the ruby jubilee’, means that UM is on the threshold of a new era, a time to take stock of past achievements and look ahead to new goals and dreams. The anniversary logo is a combination of the acronym ‘UM’ and the number ‘40’. As the 40th anniversary is also known as the ruby jubilee, the colour ruby has been chosen as the main colour for the occasion. In recent years, UM has made new breakthroughs in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as unmanned vessels, unmanned airplanes, and autonomous buses. Among them, the AI technology for unmanned vessels has won the championship at an international competition. The title of the award-winning technology, ‘Set sail for new horizons’, fits well with the theme of the anniversary. During the ceremony, Prof Zhou Jiantao and the students of Prof Carols Silvestre in the Faculty of Science and Technology shared their research findings through a presentation titled ‘Set Sail for New Horizons – Artificial Intelligence Ushers in a New Era of Digital Economy in Macao’. The UM Chinese Orchestra performed several tunes of Chinese folk music.
In addition to the opening ceremony, UM also held an Open Day as part of the celebration. The Open Day aimed to allow the public to experience UM’s development in teaching and research as well as its vibrant campus life through exhibitions and activities. This year, the university will hold a series of celebratory activities with different themes, including academic research, cultural exchange, and alumni development.