The University of Macau (UM) is delighted and encouraged by the central government’s announcement of the Master Plan of the Development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, and is confident and looking forward to participating in the development of the cooperation zone. The university will seize the new opportunity brought by the Master Plan and actively participate in the development of the cooperation zone in education, scientific research, and other areas, so as to contribute to the moderate diversification of Macao’s economy and the development of the cooperation zone.


In 2009, the central government announced the decision to develop Hengqin Island. In the same year, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the construction of a new UM campus on Hengqin Island and authorised Macao Special Administrative Region to exercise jurisdiction over the new campus. It was one of the first major projects to explore a new mode of joint development of Hengqin Island by Guangdong and Macao, and has brought unprecedented opportunities for the university. Since moving to the new campus in 2014, the university has achieved many breakthroughs in this world-class teaching and research environment, with significant improvement in the quality of academic programmes, faculty and student numbers, research output, and the number of patents. The Master Plan is a significant step towards intensifying the implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy, and is conducive to Macao’s long-term prosperity and stability and better integration into national development. It will bring new opportunities for the long-term development of Macao and will help Macao’s higher education institutions to reach new heights.


In terms of science and technology, the Master Plan mentions the establishment, in Hengqin, of a high-quality industry-academia collaboration centre for institutions such as UM and a centre for technological innovation and technology transfer, with the aim of developing the cooperation zone into an international science and technology innovation hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In 2019, UM established the Zhuhai UM Science and Technology Research Institute in Hengqin to facilitate industry-academia collaboration. Through the institute, the university has achieved many breakthroughs in areas such as microelectronics, Chinese medicine, smart city development, translational medicine, and advanced materials, with some projects currently going through the commercialisation process. UM is pleased to see that these areas have been identified in the Master Plan as industries to be vigorously developed in the cooperation zone. The Master Plan has listed some measures designed to promote research and innovation, attract high-calibre people, and promote cross-border flow of research data. UM will take advantage of these measures in order to promote high-quality collaboration with mainland enterprises and other universities, achieve more research results and promote their transformation, support Macao to fulfil its role as a central city in the Greater Bay Area and a key city in the ‘Science and Technology Innovation Corridor’, and serve the strategic needs of national development.


In order to meet the changing needs of the fast-developing Macao, Greater Bay Area, and China, the university has, in recent years, launched many new academic programmes and training courses, covering industries mentioned in the Master Plan. These include integrated circuits, new materials, new energy, big data, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, biomedicine, Chinese medicine, tourism and leisure, health, and modern finance. As the cooperation between Guangdong and Macao turns a new page, UM will continue to nurture talent for the cooperation zone by enhancing existing academic programmes, launching new programmes, and providing high-quality training, with a focus on training professionals in technology and innovation, financial technology, and management.


The Master Plan also mentions the acceleration of the construction of a dedicated passage connecting UM’s Hengqin campus and the Hengqin Port, and the possibility of creating a new intelligent checkpoint between UM’s Hengqin campus and the cooperation zone. The university believes that the implementation of the Master Plan will provide a more convenient living, learning and research environment for its students and faculty members, and will also facilitate deeper and more comprehensive exchange and collaboration between the university and the cooperation zone in the areas of talent development, scientific research, and innovation, thereby enhancing the university’s quality of teaching.


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the university. Announced at a time when the university stands at the threshold of a new chapter, the Master Plan brings new opportunities and responsibilities for the university. In the future, the university will maintain high standards in running its Zhuhai UM Science and Technology Research Institute in Hengqin, while making full use of its unique advantages to promote collaborative training and research, in order to attain more high-quality research results, play a greater role in nurturing talent for the cooperation zone, and support the moderate diversification of Macao’s economy and the development of the cooperation zone. Looking to the future, UM is confident that it can make a greater contribution to the development of the cooperation zone.


For more information about the Master Plan of the Development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, please refer to the infographics on the Macao SAR government’s website.


Source: Communications Office