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A new way of learning at the UM Hengqin campus

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image Kevin Thompson

As the University of Macau finalizes its relocation to the new campus on Hengqin Island that is 20-times larger than its existing one, Professor Kevin Thompson is advocating a new approach to teaching, saying that it is “right for the changing times we live in.”
Speaking at Wednesday’s France Macau Business Association (FMBA) breakfast meeting, the UM college master stated that the campus relocation to Hengqin “is a very exciting opportunity,” which could be used to instate a new learning model, one that is less passive and more creative.
“This new way of teaching is essentially about engagement (…) We need to engage students at a level that is not simply about reading about a subject or about oral or memory skills. There should actually be levels of physical, critical, oral and visual awareness,” he told the Times on the sidelines of the event.
Under the theme “Experiencing a Period of Extraordinary Transformation,” Professor Thompson expanded on the opportunities that are waiting at the new UM site.
In his opinion, “The campus improves our connectivity with the mainland,” allowing Macau “to come to a new understanding of what higher education can mean in the 21st century.”
With the new campus being 20-times larger than the current one, the professor asserted that having more space will provide students with more learning opportunities. “The library itself is a very innovative 21st century library. It’s not about people being silent and passive anymore; it’s very much an interactive learning model. And the university campus gives us that space (…) [to invest] in a new model of education,” he declared.
This new way of learning and teaching should be focused on students, urging them to interact and be more creative, while putting an end to a certain passivity that is currently experienced in some classes. At the same time, this model needs to be adapted to the needs and aptitudes of students.
“I am a musician, but it actually took me a long time to realize that my preferred learning model is visual. So it’s a question of tuning the students into their modality of learning, determining how they prefer to learn,” recognized Thompson, who holds a PhD in music.
Acting as master and director of the Moon Chun Memorial College, the professor also elaborated on the advantages of the UM’s residential colleges: “They are predicated on a model that aims for 500 students per college. It allows for education on a personal scale. You can get to know everyone in your college, know their dispositions, their likes and dislikes, and relate to students in a personal way.”
Furthermore, Kevin Thompson asserted that another advantageous feature of the new campus is its ability to bring different cultures together: “With different cultures, views, attitudes and behaviors… it adds a wonderful and enriching quality to the residential colleges.” He concluded by saying, “If you overlay that with some of the international students, we will find a wonderful mixture for a 21st century education.”
FMBA breakfast was organized in cooperation with the British Business Association of Macao (BBAM), which will be hosting a tax seminar on April 2.

UM holds family day on the new campus

The University of Macau (UM) recently held a UM Family Day to give its students, staff, alumni, and their family members an opportunity to see the new campus before it is fully opened to the public. According to a press release, approximately 1,000 people participated.

Sports Complex opens for trial run

Following the start of the first classes on the new campus and the relocation of the first faculty, the University of Macau's (UM) Sports Complex on the new site opened for a trial run on March 18. A sports event for UM students and staff will be held in the complex during the trial run period, which will last until tomorrow, to celebrate a new chapter in the university’s history.
The UM Sports Complex is open on a limited scale during the trial run period. The Training Hall inside is open to UM staff and students in the evening from Monday through Friday and in the afternoon on Saturdays. The Training Hall is currently divided into one standard-sized basketball court and four badminton courts.
A 3x3 basketball tournament and a badminton mixed doubles tournament will be held tomorrow, which will be the first sports events to take place in the new complex.


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Subscribe to comments feed Comments (1 posted)

Louise 28/03/2014 23:39:00
Bravo! Looks amazing, Kevin.See you end of April in situ!
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