Yonghua Song, rector of the University of Macau (UM), led a delegation to visit leading higher education institutions in Europe to explore collaboration in teaching and research. During these visits, Song also signed strategic cooperation agreements with the University of Coimbra and the University of Porto in Portugal to strengthen cooperation and exchanges in research and education with European universities.
According to Song, UM is committed to the development orientation of ‘being rooted in Macao, taking part in the development of the Greater Bay Area, integrating into the nation, and going international’. The visit achieved initial progress in expanding academic exchanges and cooperation with the world’s leading universities. These efforts have not only strengthened the university’s academic standing and international influence, but have also supported Macao’s economic diversification through international talent development. In the future, UM will strengthen its cooperation with top higher education institutions and research institutions, enhance its research capacity and teaching quality, and contribute to the development of Macao and the establishment of an international education demonstration zone in the Greater Bay Area.
Song accompanied Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U and other representatives of the Macao SAR government in their visit to the University of Coimbra. The two parties discussed ways of deepening cooperation between Macao and Portugal in the fields of higher education and research. In the presence of Ao Ieong U, UM signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with the University of Coimbra, as well as a tripartite memorandum of understanding with the University of Coimbra and the Renmin University of China.
With the signing of the agreement, UM and the University of Coimbra elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership. The two universities will deepen their research and academic collaboration in key areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics, brain science, law, business, and international relations; facilitate faculty exchanges; jointly apply for project funding and host academic lectures and conferences. In addition, under the tripartite memorandum of understanding, the three universities will focus on key areas such as law and literature to conduct collaborative research, facilitate student and faculty exchanges, and host seminars and academic exchange meetings.
After the signing ceremony, UM Vice Rector Rui Martins introduced the latest developments of the Academic Library Alliance between Macao Special Administrative Region (China) and the Portuguese Speaking Countries, the preparations for the First International Forum on Chinese and Portuguese Languages, and the results of the translation and publication of Portuguese legal classics. Martins also gave an introduction to the collaborations between the two universities in talent development and innovative interdisciplinary research, which focus on the fields of brain science, as well as artificial intelligence and robotics. In addition, the delegation visited the Joanina Library, one of the most important libraries in Portugal, to learn more about the long history of the University of Coimbra.
The UM delegation also visited the University of Porto and was warmly received by José Castro Lopes, acting rector of the university. The two parties signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement and a student exchange agreement in order to elevate their partnership to a strategic level and further promote student exchanges. In the future, the two universities will focus on key areas such as medicine, law, and Portuguese to strengthen collaborations in talent development, research, and student and faculty exchanges. After the signing ceremony, the delegation visited the University of Porto’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S) to discuss research collaboration in the field of pharmaceutical sciences and learn about the institute’s latest advances in research into drug delivery and oncology. In Porto, Song also met with UM exchange student representatives studying at the University of Porto to know more about their life in Portugal.
In addition to Portuguese universities, the UM delegation also visited leading higher education institutions in Barcelona in Spain, as well as Berlin and Dresden in Germany, to promote exchanges and collaborations in research and education, expand the university’s international network, and share experience in higher education development.
At the University of Barcelona, the delegation was warmly received by Joan Guàrdia Olmos, rector of the university. The two parties had an in-depth discussion and agreed on cooperation initiatives such as student exchange programmes and collaborative research. The delegation also visited the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya to discuss potential collaboration on academic exchanges, research collaboration, and talent development.
In Germany, the delegation visited Technische Universität Dresden and Technische Universität Berlin, where they held in-depth discussions and agreed on cooperation initiatives in talent development and research in the fields of biomaterials and smart energy, respectively. In addition, the delegation members also met with Wu Ken, Chinese ambassador to Germany, and Huang Wei, minister counsellor for education affairs of the Chinese Embassy in Germany. During the meeting, Song introduced UM’s development, its international strategic layout, as well as the current situation and prospects of cooperation between UM and German education institutions. Wu praised UM’s development and expressed the embassy’s full support for the university’s cooperation and exchanges with German universities.
The delegation also included Wang Ruibing, director of the Global Affairs Office.