USJ Awards 75 Postgraduate Students at the Ceremony for the Conferral of Higher Degrees 2023





The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) conferred four doctoral degrees in Business Administration, Education, Psychology, and Science, and 71 master’s degrees at the “USJ Ceremony for the Conferral of Higher Degree 2023” on 9 December.

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) held its Ceremony for the Conferral of Higher Degrees on Saturday, 9 December 2023, at the Auditório Centenário de Fátima in Ilha Verde Campus. This Ceremony was organised to allow recent dissertation and thesis defenders of the academic year 2023/24 to graduate without delay.

The Ceremony was officiated over by the representative of the Honourable Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Government, Ms. Ao Ieong U, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, with the presence of distinguished guests, including representatives from the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in SAR, the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ), the Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT), the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS), Diplomatic Corps accredited in Macao, Fellows from the Catholic Foundation for Higher Education, Honorary Guests, Higher Education Institutions in Macao, USJ Donors, and local Associations and Enterprises.

In the Ceremony, the Rector of USJ, Reverend Professor Stephen Morgan, conferred four doctoral degrees in Business Administration, Education, Psychology, and Science, and 71 master’s degrees.

In her speech, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government Ms. Ao Ieong U, expressed that the University of Saint Joseph is an important asset in Macao’s higher education system. It has been committed to promoting exchanges and cooperation in the fields of science, culture, and education between China, European countries, especially Portuguese-speaking countries. She stated that the SAR Government has always actively supported the high-quality development of higher education, strengthened the cultivation of various scientific research talents, and supported local universities in planning higher education degree programmes related to industrial development. She encouraged USJ to seize new development opportunities in Macao, continue to cooperate with the SAR government’s policies, fully leverage its advantages in running the university, contribute to the successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems,” promote the moderate and diversified development of the local economy, and cultivate high-quality talents who are patriotic, love Macao, and possess both virtue and talent to meet the needs of society.

In his speech, Rector Morgan emphasized that USJ aims to produce graduates with not only knowledge but also critical thinking skills, personal integrity, and ethical decision-making abilities. Collaboration and the appreciation of diverse perspectives are encouraged, preparing students to lead and collaborate effectively in an interconnected world. He also mentioned that beyond academic excellence, the University is committed to nurturing morally responsible individuals who embody qualities such as empathy, compassion, justice, and service, addressing the students: “In a world in urgent need of ethical leadership, these values are increasingly important. You are now not only equipped to give such leadership, you have a solemn duty, an obligation to do so.” The speech concluded by urging the graduates to let the values and knowledge gained at USJ guide their future endeavors, fostering a love for continuous learning, societal contributions, and pride in their association with USJ.

Two student representatives from master’s and doctoral degrees also gave their speeches during the ceremony.

Mr. Muhammad Bashir Saidu, a Doctoral graduate from the USJ Institute of Science and Environment (ISE) with a background in biotechnology – specialising in environmental science and engineering – who isolated bacteria from the local environment in Macao that can degrade PET plastic while synthesizing bioplastics, believes that is imperative for experts like himself to use their skills and talents to make a positive impact to solve the most pressing problems of our time and to inspire the next generation of scholars and scientists. He hopes that his research output will continue to improve and have a positive impact on the overall development of Macao: “I would also like to use my knowledge and skills to benefit the local community by collaborating with the relevant department and local companies to work and research on projects related to biopolymer production and waste conversion and valorisation.”

Ms Loi Ngai San, a Master’s graduate from the USJ School of Education, who works as a social worker and an educator, chose to study the Master of Education in the specialization of Special Needs and Inclusive Education programme to develop a stronger and more holistic approach to caring for students with different developmental needs, to help them grow and to provide more down-to-earth support. She said: “Through the Master’s program, I have deeply realized that one of the core concepts of integrated education is that every student has the right to receive equal education. This philosophy emphasizes respect for student diversity and the need to ensure that each student receives an appropriate education through appropriate teaching strategies and resources. I firmly believe that this important key does not exist only in the classroom, but that it cuts across the entire society, involving families and communities. It is something that requires the active involvement of policymakers, educators, parents, schools and communities. There is no limit to what one can learn. I believe we can go beyond the boundaries and pursue higher goals.”

The ceremony concluded with closing words by the Chancellor of USJ, Most Reverend Bishop of Macao Stephen Lee Bun-Sang, featuring messages of hope, appreciation, and encouragement.

The University of Saint Joseph congratulates the graduates on their achievements and eagerly anticipates the positive impact they will make in the world.

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