UM holds convocation to welcome 3,000 new students Rector Song encourages students to foster a sense of mission

UM faculty members and students at the convocation ceremony

The University of Macau (UM) today (15 August) held the convocation and an orientation seminar for the 2019/2020 academic year to welcome 3,000 new students as well as faculty members. UM Rector Yonghua Song gave the new students their first lecture at UM. During the talk, Rector Song said that higher education experienced great changes in the 21st century and emphasised the inclusion of innovation in higher education. He also encouraged the students to devote themselves to study in order to become innovative individuals with a love for their country, a global mindset, international competitiveness, and a sense of mission to society and to themselves.

The convocation opened with a performance by the UM Symphonic Band. According to Song, this year’s convocation is special because the year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of the Macao Special Administrative Region. With the changes in higher education worldwide, innovation-driven development has become a global consensus. Therefore, missions of universities must also adapt and change as the world changes. Universities must include ‘innovation’ in higher education in order to disseminate knowledge through education, create knowledge through research, and transfer knowledge through services. Song added that to cope with the demand of the international society for high-calibre professionals, UM has also incorporated innovation in its undergraduate education by increasing the number of courses in digital education, civic participation and social experience, entrepreneurship, and leadership, in an effort to boost students’ international competitiveness.

According to Rector Song, UM boasts an outstanding international faculty team, an interactive learning environment, state-of-the-art research facilities, and a campus conductive to education. He hopes students will make good use of their time, the culturally diverse environment, and the abundant research resources at UM to enhance their international competitiveness. During the ceremony, UM presented breast pins to new students, which symbolise the university’s expectations for the students as well as the hope that students will enjoy their life at UM.

Classes in the new academic year will start on Monday 19 August. To help familiarise new students with the campus and adapt to a new chapter in their lives, UM has been organising a series of ‘The Way to UM’ orientation activities since the beginning of this month, which include lectures by faculty deans and residential college masters, as well as information seminars and orientation parties. An information session for parents was also held to help parents learn more about UM’s philosophy of education and latest developments. Before the convocation, UM held a flag-raising ceremony, which was attended by about 2,000 UM students, faculty, and staff.

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