Uni chief pushes students to look past gaming


 
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Issue 277, Page 5
Word count: 455
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Acting Rector of the University of Macau (UM), Professor Rui Martins, yesterday encouraged young people to increase their employability by acquiring knowledge of as many professions as possible.

Speaking to the Macau Daily Times during the first day of the two-day open day at the university campus in Taipa, Professor Martins said currently “everything is concentrated on gambling”.

“Professors pay a lot of attention to try to motivate students to study in different fields and to improve their skills in as many areas as possible so that after graduation, they will be open to many different industries and not be restricted to gaming,” the Acting Rector said.

Although the community is increasingly concerned about the number of youths dropping out of high school to chase the high wages offered by casinos, Professor Martins said the drop-out rate at the UM “is not very high”.

He said more than 80 per cent of students complete all four years of their degrees.

However, he added a significant percentage of graduates go on to work in the gaming sector but usually in a job related to their study.

“Most of our graduates, especially the top ones, are hired six months before completing their studies. Even if they work in casinos, there are lots of things related to their professions,” the Acting Rector told the MDT.

“Holding a technology or engineering degree, for example, enables them to have the qualification to take care of software and electronic equipment such as surveillance cameras and slot machines.”

University, according to Professor Martins, is a place where “people come to study everything required to become a professional”.

Therefore, he said it was very important for students during the university life to try to develop specialised skills as well as basic knowledge for their own areas of professionalism.

In terms of the language ability, the Acting Rector said students he observed during the engineering classes he taught displayed “quite good” language skills. The language level has been increasing each year, he said.

“Rising demands from the university such as the admission exams and selection of students from high schools also help boost the level of language,” he added.

The annual open day began at 2.30pm yesterday with the opening ceremony attended by the Acting Rector, heads of the UM Alumni Association in Macau and Hong Kong, and the UM Students’ Union.

All facilities at the campus including the simulated court room and studios will remain open for the public during the event from 10am to 5pm today.

Exhibitions, seminars, student performances, alumni activities, English workshops, simulated hearings, debates and booth games have been organised for visitors to enjoy.

The university car parks will be open to the public during the event period today.

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