In response to the national strategy to position Macao as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries and to meet the needs in Portuguese language education and research, the University of Macau (UM) established a Portuguese Corner in its library and held an opening ceremony today (26 October). Tam Chon Weng, secretary for social affairs and culture; and Yonghua Song, rector of UM, attended the ceremony.
In his speech, Tam said that the Portuguese language is becoming increasingly important, not only because it is an official language in Macao, but also because the central government has provided a lot of support to Macao to develop itself into a platform for cultural exchange between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, on top of its current role as a service platform for business collaboration. These goals and opportunities have spurred higher education institutions in Macao to greater effort in Portuguese language education and research. Tam added that the demand for Chinese-Portuguese bilingual language professionals is expected to keep increasing and the training of bilingual professionals will therefore become a major responsibility of the Macao SAR government. Against this backdrop, as a leading university in Portuguese language education and research in Asia, UM has the responsibility to nurture outstanding bilingual professionals. Tam is pleased to see the university’s effort in Portuguese language education and research as well as in the training of bilingual professionals, adding that the university has devoted a lot of resources to improving campus facilities and creating an excellent learning environment for Portuguese language learners.
Rector Song thanked the SAR government for continuously increasing resources and support for Portuguese language education, adding that UM’s Department of Portuguese is undergoing a series of reforms, including optimising the undergraduate curriculum, providing scholarships for Portuguese language students, extending the duration of overseas programmes for undergraduate students, increasing the number of postgraduate courses, and recruiting more international students. Song also mentioned other projects that reflect UM’s effort to promote Portuguese language education and research, including the Chinese-Portuguese Bilingual Teaching and Training Centre, which was established a year ago; the Chinese-Portuguese Literary Translation Award, which was jointly launched by UM and the Macao Foundation last year; and the most recent one, the Portuguese Corner, jointly established by the UM library and the Department of Portuguese, for the purpose of making full use of UM’s outstanding learning environment and increasing linguistic and cultural exchange with Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Portuguese Corner is located on the second floor of the UM library. In addition to providing information about Portuguese culture, the corner will host talks and exhibitions on a regular basis. There is also an audiovisual room and a study room that serves as a learning commons for Portuguese studies, teaching, and research, and supports the work of an alliance dedicated to the training of bilingual language professionals. The corner is open daily from 8:00am to 12:00am. All are welcome.