The government plans to draft a 10-year development plan for the higher education sector after its tertiary education bill is passed by the legislature, Tertiary Education Services Office (GAES) Director Sou Chio Fai said on Wednesday.
The higher education chief made the remarks when addressing the founding ceremony of the Macau Tertiary Education Development and Promotion Association at the Macau Science Centre.
According to Sou, the government will start drawing up the plan when the bill, which is being reviewed by the Legislative Assembly’s 2nd Standing Committee, has become law, and after the promulgation of relevant supplementary regulations.
Acknowledging that there are “some challenges ahead” for local tertiary education institutions, Sou estimated that the number of those leaving high-school will decrease over the next five years and then level out at about 3,500 per year, compared to around 5,000 this year.
Sou also said that currently half of Macau’s high-school leavers continue their studies outside the city. Sou said Macau’s tertiary education institutions should provide their students with more opportunities to learn in different parts of the world.
According to Sou, there are over 2,000 teaching staff at the local institutions which are running 268 higher education programmes. “Although we have 268 programmes, about half of our 30,000 or so students study [one of just] four types of subjects, namely commerce, management, tourism and entertainment,” Sou said, urging the institutions to “operate more other types of programmes” to nurture professionals needed in the local economy’s ongoing diversification.