A delegation of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has paid a courtesy call on Edmund Ho Hau Wah, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference (CPPCC), according to a statement by the Catholic tertiary education institution.
The visit took place at Ho’s office on Penha Hill last Wednesday.
Ho is the first chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR). His two five-year terms ended in December 2009.
Ho has the ranking of a state leader, due to his position as a CPPCC National Committee vice-chairman.
The USJ delegation was headed by the Most Reverend Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang in his capacity as the university’s chancellor.
His delegation included USJ Rector Stephen Morgan.
Macao’s Catholic diocese is understood to have a flock of about 30,000.
Morgan thanked Ho for his support in building the university’s Ilha Verde campus during his term as chief executive, the statement pointed out.
He also briefed Ho on the objectives of the future development plans of the university and underlined that “USJ is in, of and for Macao, China”.
The rector noted that since it was set up 24 years ago, the university “has cultivated the talents of over 7,500 students in different fields, and has played a unique and important role in serving and promoting social harmony in Macao’s society.”
Morgan pledged that USJ will continue its role to serve Macao’s role as a platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in conjunction with the central government’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), whilst supporting the local government’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) development initiatives.
He also said that the university would launch new academic programmes in the areas of architecture, design and environmental science, with the aim of moving “towards a significant East-West cultural exchange platform.”
Ho underlined the importance of USJ’s contribution as a platform in strengthening exchanges between Macao, the world’s eight Portuguese-speaking countries and Europe.
He urged the university to strengthen its links with the mainland and also to promote the integration of educational exchanges between Macao and the mainland.
The USJ delegation included the university’s three vice-rectors – Keith Morrison, Alvaro Barbosa and Zhang Shuguang – as well as Pro-Rector Kevin Hannam and Faculty of Business and Law Dean Jenny Lao-Phillips.