The Macao Special Administration Government (SAR) are finalizing its draft document on the higher education legal framework, said Chui Sai On, the SAR's secretary for social affairs and culture at an international conference held in Macao on Thursday.
In an effort to strengthen the quality of the city's universities programs and activities, the SAR government is also working on the regulation of the credit system and the academic evaluation system that a modern higher education structure must require, said Chui when delivering his speech at the Asia-Pacific Sub-Regional Preparatory Conference for the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education.
The SAR government "has year after year allocated more resources and funding towards research and development in educational program...(and) our reform aims at enabling our students to tackle the demands of society and the job market," he said.
Currently, Macao has 10 higher educational institutions, among which four are public while six private. A total academic staff of1,500 are working in the universities during the academic year and there are nearly 27,000 registered students, according to official statistics from the SAR government.
"This might be a small number when compared with the figures to other countries and regions. Nonetheless, our commitment, motivation to implement reforms promoting institutions with better academic quality, more autonomy, and greater accountability, I believe, are the same," he noted.
Some 200 scholars and academic professionals from 32 countries and regions attended the two-day conference jointly organized and sponsored by the SAR government and UNESCO (United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Bangkok.
The organizers said that the aim of the preparatory conference is to prepare for the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education which will be held in Paris between July 6 and 8 next year. Although being titled "Facing Global and Local Challenges: the New Dynamics for Higher Education", the conference mainly focused on higher education within the Eastern and Southern Asia.
"After the 1998 World conference, it is time to assess our efforts, what we achieved, where we stand, and attain if our policies towards a continuously changing and demanding learning society are still effective," Chui said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2008)