The University of Macau (UM) implements a Residential College (RC) system modelled upon the successful experience of world-class universities, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in order to provide a multifaceted education to the students. Eight residential colleges (RCs) became operational on the new campus in the 2014/2015 academic year, namely Chao Kuang Piu College, Cheng Yu Tung College, Choi Kai Yau College, Henry Fok Pearl Jubilee College, Lui Che Woo College, Moon Chun Memorial College, Shiu Pong College, and Stanley Ho East Asia
A perfect complement to the faculty-based system, the RC system is a vehicle for carrying out whole-person education and for helping undergraduates achieve well-rounded development and become future leaders of society. Through a curriculum-based approach, the eight RCs offer experiential collegiate learning to help students acquire soft skills beyond their chosen fields of study and grow into well-rounded graduates who are knowledgeable, academically accomplished, self-reflective, compassionate, socially responsible, with good interpersonal skills, wide interests, and the ability to rise up to challenges and pursue lifelong learning in a pluralist environment.
Emphasizing the importance of personal growth of undergraduates as an integral part of their holistic cultivation, the Residential College (RC) System of the University of Macau (UM) offers students another dimension to education alongside their majors. The purpose of RC learning is to develop students’‘soft’skills through experiential learning outside the classroom. Drawing from successful experience of world-class universities, UM created two pilot RCs in 2010. Now with eight RCs fully running and their activities formalized into their curriculums, students can enjoy the benefit of experiential collegiate learning under such a setting. A set of generic competency indices and an evaluation
system have been put in place to make sure that students have met the pre-set requirements of the community and peer education before students graduate.
4-in-1 Education Model
UM has implemented a 4-in-1 Education Model that is composed of disciplinary education, general education, research and internship education as well as community and peer education. The objective is to nurture self-reflective, caring and socially responsible individuals who can grow in a challenging and multicultural environment. Now undergraduates have to pass all the requirements of this Model before they can graduate.
Experiential collegiate learning
As an important vehicle for the community and peer education, RCs have their core educational objective which is to help students develop the five areas of capabilities through RC experiential learning. This objective will be achieved through experiential programmes and activities, all of which being developed in a systematic approach.
• Healthy living
• Interpersonal relation and teamwork
• Leadership and service
• Cultural engagement
• Citizenship with global perspectives
Knowledge, Practices, Attitudes
RC students need to meet requirements at three levels, ie., the University’s general requirement for RC education, the specific requirements of individual RCs, and students’ individual goal of personal development.
Evaluation of learning effectiveness
Three types of evaluation, namely self-evaluation, peer evaluation and teachers’ evaluation are adopted to assess students’ fulfillment of the community and peer education. Evaluations will be conducted regularly throughout students’ four years of life in the RCs. RC education is a perfect complement to the faculty education. It is an effective approach to whole-person education and facilitate students’ personal growth. The first two pilot RCs at UM, modelled upon the successful experience of world-class universities, were established in 2010, and with more added in the years that followed. Starting in the 2014/2015 academic year, eight RCs became operational on the new campus, with eight distinguished individuals, who possess impressive academic backgrounds, rich managerial experience, and a passion for education, serving as the masters. The structure and composition of the RCs and the arrangement of the courses and activities have all been planned in a systematic manner. I believe that with the joint effort of our colleagues and the participation and support of academic staff from various faculties, our RCs will develop smoothly to become an effective vehicle for carrying out the“4-in-1”model of education.