UM Rector clarifies Portuguese elective classes controversy

The Rector of the University of Macau (UM), Wei Zhao, said yesterday in the Legislative Assembly that the institution will not stop investing in Portuguese language education. The clarification was requested during the Policy Address, after the intervention of Legislative Assembly member José Pereira Coutinho. “We will continue to invest in the Portuguese classes,” Mr. Wei Zhao said, “and we are committed to having these classes available in minor and major degrees. To this end, I have been involved in hiring more Portuguese teachers for the institution”. The controversy over the Portuguese language education in UM ignited following news reports on Wednesday that the institution would end elective Portuguese classes. This decision was confirmed and criticised by the head of the Portuguese Department of the institution to TDM Radio, justifying the decision with the need to make better use of existing resources. After the news generated a big controversy in the Portuguese language media the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jin Hong Gang, denied the termination of the classes.