The University of Macau (UM) held a kick-off ceremony on 17 September to celebrate the launch of the residential college (RC) system on the new campus. UM’s University Council (UC) Chair Dr Lam Kam Seng, former UC Chair Dr Tse Chi Wai, UM Rector Prof Wei Zhao, Vice Rector (Student Affairs) Prof Haydn Chen, and eight residential college masters officiated at the ceremony.

Rector Wei Zhao noted that the new campus, which is 20 times larger than the old one, provides an opportunity for UM to implement the RC system. And with the RC system in place, UM is now able to fully carry out peer and community education, which is one component of UM’s unique “4-in-1” model of education. He believes that students can benefit from the RC system and the pluralist environment on the new campus.

Vice Rector Haydn Chen said that all the courses and activities at the RCs are designed to help students meet requirements in the five Areas of Competencies, namely Interpersonal Relation and Teamwork, Global Citizenship, Leadership and Service, Cultural Engagement, and Healthy Living. He noted that RCs aim to nurture students into well-rounded, intellectually and socially resilient, and caring people who can lead principled and productive lives, and whose academic knowledge and scholarly achievements are complemented by good interpersonal communication skills, a wide range of interests, and the ability to pursue lifelong learning.

Masters of the eight RCs are all renowned scholars in different fields with rich academic and managerial experience. They are Prof Liu Chuan Sheng, an authority on plasma physics; Prof Chung Ling, a prolific writer and scholar of China-West comparative literary studies; Prof David Pong, a veteran historian; Prof George Watt, a literary scholar who had accumulated over nine years of experience managing and heading RCs before he joined UM; Prof Liu Chung Laung, a renowned computer scientist; Prof Kevin Thompson, a renowned musician; Prof Kenneth Leung, an expert in communication law and ethics; and Prof Iu Vai Pun, an expert in structural mechanics.

The eight RCs which have become operational include the Stanley Ho East Asia College, the Henry Fok Pearl Jubilee College, the Moon Chun Memorial College, Cheng Yu Tung College, Shiu Pong College, Choi Kai Yau College, Chao Kuang Piu College, and Lui Che Woo College. Each RC is home to about 500 undergraduate students of different majors and in different years of study. UM plans to establish four more RCs in the future, which will bring the total number of RCs to 12. When that happens, UM is expected to have the largest RC system in Asia.