The University of Macau (UM) held an inauguration ceremony for the Chinese-Portuguese Bilingual Teaching and Training Centre on Friday. The center is under the Department of Portuguese of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and includes a language and culture exhibition room, a reception room and a general office.
During his inauguration speech, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam remarked that higher education institutions in Macau are better suited to offering Portuguese language courses than universities in mainland China.
According to Macau Daily Times he expressed his high expectations for the two centers, as well as his hope that the centers will aid the region in fostering Macau’s cooperation with mainland China.
UM rector Wei Zhao also pointed out that in addition to being the largest Portuguese teaching institution in Asia, the UM Department of Portuguese also boasts a culturally diverse faculty whose members include professors from renowned universities in Portuguese-speaking countries.
With the faculty’s support, the center will initiate various projects, such as the implementation of innovative teaching methods to improve the Department of Portuguese’s current course delivery.
The university stated in a press release that the center intends to carry out targeted academic research in the teaching and learning of the Portuguese language, as well as Chinese and Portuguese cultures generally.
The center will also offer module-based training courses for Portuguese language teachers from Macau and mainland China. It will develop Portuguese teaching materials and multimedia teaching materials tailor-made for local students.
The center’s future plans also include compiling and publishing a guidebook of cultures of Portuguese-speaking countries, and collaborating with mainland Chinese publishing houses to translate and publish Chinese and Portuguese classics.
Separatly, UM also held its Congregation 2017 on Saturday, which was attended by Chief Executive Chui Sai On, who is also chancellor of UM.
Chui said at the ceremony that he hopes that UM and other institutions will seize the opportunity and continue to improve their “hardware” and “software” in order to “train students to become the pillars of society.”
Rector Wei Zhao said in his speech that the UM implements a “4-in-1” education model, which has produced a positive effect on the students: their academic performance, soft skills and employability have all significantly improved.
This year, more than 1,400 students graduated from UM with a bachelor’s degree. 44 of the graduates have also completed programs offered by the Honours College.