USJ Strategic Plan 2024/2028


The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) is a privately funded international Catholic University in, of and for Macao, in of and for China. The academic year 2023/24 marks the twenty-seventh year of the University’s establishment.

The University was founded jointly by the Diocese of Macao and Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) in 1996 (initially as the Instituto Inter-Universitário de Macau – IIUM) and received its first charter from the then-Governor of Macao. The name was changed to its present name in August 2009.

In 2017, the new Bishop of Macao, Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang became the Chancellor of USJ in succession to the Patriarch of Lisbon, and in 2019 the Macao SAR Government approved a new Charter for the University.

USJ is owned by the Catholic Foundation for Higher Education in Macao, a foundation established jointly by the Diocese of Macao and UCP, and it operates as private non-profit entity. The Catholic Foundation sets and oversees the financial conditions for the operation of USJ and appoints the Rector and senior leadership.

The University is governed by the University General Council. This body is presided over by the Bishop of Macao and includes the members of the Catholic Foundation, the senior leadership, elected members of the University’s academic and administrative staff, student representatives, and appointed members representing the wider community.

In its 27 years of existence, it has educated over 8,375 students at various levels of higher education, from diploma to doctorate, with the vast majority of its programmes being taught through the medium of the English language.

In 2023 the University has 1356 students enrolled in Graduate and Post-graduate programmes (15% in diploma programmes, 32% in Bachelor programmes, 39% in Master programmes, and 14% in Doctoral programmes). From the total number of active enrolled students approximately 75% are Macau residents, 5% are mainland China and Hong-Kong residents, and 20% are international.

The University consist of 8 Academic Units, namely 4 faculties (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Business and Law, Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Faculty of Health Sciences), 2 Schools (School of Education, Doctoral School), and 2 institutes (Institute of Science and Environment, Institute of Data Engineering and Science).

According to the USJ Charter USJ degree’s diplomas are signed by the Chancellor of USJ, the Rector of USJ, and the Rector of UCP in the capacity of Vice-president of the USJ title holding foundation. Attending to this close relationship between USJ and UCP, UCP provides a dedicated fast track procedure for the recognition of all USJ degrees in Portugal and consequently in the European Union.

USJ’s research work operates at local, regional, national, and international levels, with joint research, collaborations, and partnerships across the world, and with a wide range of outputs and significant impact.

The 5 years strategic plan presented in this document starts in 2023 and follows the previous 3 years roadmap, strategic development and strategic management plans adopted in 2020. It outlines the guiding objectives of the university, defining five axes of actionable measures and stating its respective Key Performance Indicators.


To be a leading multicultural Catholic University in, of and for Macao, in, of and for China, that stands by principles of academic integrity,­­ fosters innovation, upholds tradition, and promotes humanizing values.


USJ’s mission is to serve Macao, S.A.R. China with a Higher Education Institution that:

  • adheres to the highest international standards in education, research, and innovation
  • promotes internationalization, as an inclusive value proposition
  • nurtures ethical values for a socially, culturally, and environmentally sustainable society
  • fosters local development rooted in the traditions and heritage of Macao and China
  • upholds the University’s own Catholic identity and ethos

Core Graduate Attributes

A graduate from the USJ is a person of integrity:

  • who can think rigorously, critically, and creatively
  • who prizes engagement and collaboration with the other
  • who seeks to move beyond proficiency to mastery of their discipline
  • who can operate in English and at least one other language
  • who is a global citizen prepared for multicultural and international environments

Strategic Objectives & Actionable Measures


Adhere to the highest international standards in education, research, and innovation

Actionable Measures:

  1. Obtain Accreditation for all degree granting programs and complete the process of International Quality Audit
  2. Promote high level academic research linked to post-graduate programmes, benchmarked through peer review publication, and funded by external research grants
  3. Develop support structures for entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer


Adhere to the highest international standards in education, research, and innovation

Actionable Measures:

  1. Recruit substantial numbers of international students and staff
  2. Engage in joint projects and programmes with leading Universities from Southeast Asia and the Portuguese Speaking Countries
  3. Contribute to the work of National and International Higher Education Organizations


Nurture ethical values for a socially and environmentally sustainable society

Actionable Measures:

  1. Engage in concrete actions of social and environmental community outreach
  2. Adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Agenda and benchmark through the Impact Rankings
  3. Promote ethics and Catholic Social Teaching principles in academic activities


Foster local development rooted in the traditions of China and the local Macao Culture

Actionable Measures:

  1. Increase the engagement of students from the Greater China
  2. Promote Lifelong Learning Programmes in Macao
  3. Organize community activities and events involving the USJ Alumni


Uphold the University’s Catholic identity and ethos

Actionable Measures:

  1. Engage with the activities of the International Federation of Catholic Universities
  2. Engage with the activities of the Association of South and East Asia Catholic Colleges and Universities
  3. Work with the Diocese of Macao to provide chaplaincy and pastoral support to the wider USJ community

Last Updated: February 26, 2024 at 11:58 am