The new campus of the University of Macau (UM) on Hengqin Island in southern Guangdong Province was handed over to Macaugovernment on Saturday, in accordance with a 2009 bill by the National People’s Congress in Beijing.
In 2009, the government signed a leasing contract for the land where UM will now operate, at a cost of MOP1.2 billion and an expiry date set for December 20, 2049.
As of July 20th, the new campus will be governed by the laws of Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR), said Cheong U, secretary for social affairs and culture of Macau during his inspection of the new campus.
He noted that the new campus is a gift to Macau from the central government.
Cheong U also revealed that the government believes that the UM campus will be fully open to the public in January or February next
The administration, library and central teaching buildings have already been completed. The campus will accommodate stations of the Public Security Police, the Fire Service Bureau and the Customs Service.
The Hengqin campus is due to start operations this coming September, with around 2,000 students having been relocated by then.
The new campus is separated from Macau’s Taipa by a waterway on the east of Hengqin Island. Covering an area of about 1 square km, with more than 80 buildings, it is nearly 20 times larger than the current campus with its capacity to hold some 10,000 students. An underwater tunnel ensures convenient, 24-hour access to the new campus from Macau without the need to going through immigration clearance.
Zhao Wei, Rector of UM said that after the handover, UM will gradually implement the relocation plan, and work on what remains to be done in the coming months, including quality inspection of the new campus buildings by the Macau government in accordance with the relevant Macao laws, execution of the trial operation plan, and moving more than 2,000 students into the new campus.(macaunews)