Song Yonghua, the University of Macau’s (UM) new rector, said Wednesday that academic freedom is a core value of any university, adding that as the new UM rector he would comply with the university’s regulations to ensure academic freedom.
Song made the pledge during his first meeting with the press after take up his new post on Tuesday.
Song said that the University of Macau attracted him because he felt it was a university where he could apply the managerial experience he gained at mainland Chinese and British universities over the past two decades, adding that he hoped to develop the local university into an “outstanding” one that would attract the best students.
Describing his new job as a challenging one, Song said that he had the confidence to rise up to any challenges he would face, adding that he hoped to work with his fellow university members to produce graduates capable of promoting Macau’s development, and to serve the country.
According to the public university’s website, Song was born in Sichuan province in 1964. He received his PhD from the China Electric Power Research Institute in 1989. In 1997, he was appointed professor of Power Systems at Brunel University and later pro-vice-chancellor for Graduate Studies at the same university in 2004. In the same year, he was elected a fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering.
In 2007, he took up a pro-vice chancellorship and professorship of Electrical Engineering at the University of Liverpool, holding concurrently the position of executive president at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou.
In 2009 he was invited to be professor of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University and was appointed assistant president.
Before his new post in Macau, he was the executive vice president of Zhejiang University, as well as founding dean of the International Campus and professor of Electrical Engineering and Higher Education there.
Song succeeds Zhao Wei at the helm of the university.