A Catholic university in Macau has been given the green light to recruit students from mainland China, although in an “experimental basis” and only for four graduate programs.
A report in Jornal O-Clarim, a publication of Macau Diocese, said the University of Saint Joseph has been given, for the first time, “carte blanche” to recruit students from the mainland.
Dean Stephen Morgan was quoted as saying that the move is “a valuable opportunity for the [university] to demonstrate that it is ‘a university in, from and to Macau; and in, to and from China.”
The University of Saint Joseph, which is affiliated with the Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon, is being run by the Diocese of Macau.
Morgan expressed his gratitude to Macau’s officials for “the constant advocacy of our case.”
“I am very aware of the responsibility that the Central Government has given the [university] through this authorization and I want to make clear all the guarantees, not only of our gratitude, but also of our sincerity,” said the university official.
“We will closely observe the detailed regulations concerning this permit and will spare no effort in seeking to repay the trust and confidence of the Ministry of Education,” he said.
In the first phase of the program, the university will enroll students in postgraduate courses in Architecture, Business Administration, Information Systems, and Science.
The authorization was granted on September 9 after years of cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding between the university and other institutions and offices in China.
Morgan said the openness shown by the Central Government is “an opportunity to deepen partnerships, which until now have not been possible.”
“As with all higher education institutions in Macau, the University of Saint Joseph is working hard to offer a concrete response to the call made by [government officials] to diversify the economy through the development and application of our research work,” he said.
“We understand that there is enormous potential in this area,” said Morgan, citing cooperation efforts with the Institute of Oceanography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Qingdao, among others.
In August, Morgan embarked on a tour of several Chinese provinces to explore “new opportunities for cooperation” and to strengthen existing memoranda of understanding, said the report on the diocesan paper.
The University of Saint Joseph was founded in 1996 as the Macau Inter-University Institute by the Catholic University of Portugal and the Diocese of Macau.