USJ welcomes mainland students, Keith Morrison comments on future hopes

2022-09-07 03:38
BY Rui Pastorin

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) held a welcoming ceremony for new students from the mainland yesterday at its Ilha Verde campus, with Vice Rector Keith Morrison speaking with The Macau Post Daily after the ceremony about hopes that the higher education institution has moving forward.

USJ was granted permission by the Ministry of Education in Beijing to recruit students from the mainland last September on a trial basis. Morrison said that under the scheme, the university is allowed to admit 30 students to study in four graduate programmes such as architecture and business administration.

According to Morrison, as this is the first year, “We [USJ] want to make it work very well”, adding he hoped that this would lead to being able to expand its number of mainland students. Moreover, he underlined that one of USJ’s strategic developments was to extend contacts that it already has in the mainland even further. “That’s why this is such an important starting point for us with regard to students”, noting that the development will hopefully grow and “scale up to doctorate students and undergraduate students”.

“Strategically, this is a small but important development here. Small at the moment, that we hope will increase”, Morrison noted. Regarding other hopes for the academic year, he underlined the aim of spreading USJ’s message about its internationalisation, which he said the Catholic university was noted for, as well as its determination to share the quality of its work beyond Macau.

Beyond its Catholic background

Meanwhile, speaking on possible concerns regarding the university’s Catholic background, Morrison emphasised: “We are a Catholic university, but we are not here to indoctrinate students”.

Aspects such as humanitarian values and the development of people “touch all religions”, Morrison said, adding that the university has and welcomes a range of students and staff regardless of their faith, taking a more humanitarian point of view. “Why should we turn anybody away?” He also noted that the Ministry of Education’s recognition of and sending students to USJ can be looked at as “a positive sign”.

“We are not in the business of indoctrination, we are in the business of developing humans”, Morrison said, noting that the university’s focus is placed on developing “important humans” who have contributions to make to improving life for everybody, which draws on different types of faith. 

University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Vice Rector Keith Morrison delivers a speech during yesterday’s welcoming ceremony for new students from the mainland. – Photo: Rui Pastorin


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