USJ signs MOU with Greater Bay Area in mind

Marco Carvalho

The University of Saint Joseph will officially kick off the new academic year next Tuesday with a Mass, celebrated by Bishop Stephen Lee. The higher education institution led by Stephen Morgan has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Macau Youth Greater Bay Area Development Association.

The Bishop of Macau, Stephen Lee Bun-sang, will preside over the solemn opening of the new academic year at the University of Saint Joseph, with the celebration of a Mass, on September 14th, in the premises of the higher education institution. Scheduled for 11 AM, the Eucharist will take place on the Chapel of the Holy Cross, on the Ilha Verde campus.

Bishop Lee is also the chancellor of the University and heads the Catholic Foundation for Higher Education, the entity which is responsible for its management. The University of Saint Joseph is affiliated with the Catholic University of Portugal and the confessional nature of the local institution and its Portuguese-speaking connections were highlighted by Stephen Morgan in a welcome video posted this week on USJ’s social media. 

The rector of the University of Saint Joseph sees this new academic year as a year to celebrate. The University, Morgan recalls, was created 25 years ago: “If this is your first time as a student of USJ, I want you to know that you are very, very welcome to the USJ family. USJ is a unique institution. We sit here as an international Catholic University, with our roots in the Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking world operating largely in English, but putting ourselves at the service of Macau, of China and the wider-world,” Stephen Morgan explains in a three-minute welcome speech. 

Even before the beginning of the new academic year, the University of Saint Joseph signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Macau Youth Greater Bay Area Development Association. The main purpose of the protocol is to strengthen the academic exchange and cooperation and to promote youth entrepreneurship between agents and institutions in the Portuguese-speaking world and their counterparts in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. 

The memorandum of understanding was signed by the rector of the University of Saint Joseph, Stephen Morgan, and by Lai Ming San, president of the Association. Mr. Lai believes that the strong connection that Macau’s Catholic University maintains with the Portuguese-speaking countries can be seen as an advantage in the context of a future service platform uniting the two regions. 

Signed at the end of August, the protocol provides for the joint organization of several initiatives and contemplates the attribution of scholarships and the fostering of talents in the Greater Bay Area. The memorandum also contemplates training programs in areas such as culture, art and design, aimed at both students and teachers. The University of São José and the Macau Youth Greater Bay Area Association also want to jointly organize academic forums and conferences.