[Sponsored article] Dr Vivian Lei, the Head of Academic Affairs Department at the Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI), says that the institution is essentially a local institute for the people of Macao. “Currently, 85 per cent of our students are local Macao people,” she says. “We are a public higher education institution which is multi-disciplinary and application-based. Many local talents in various businesses and industries are graduates from MPI.” Lei says there are two unique aspects about MPI. “First, there is the assured quality of our teaching. We are the first higher education institution in Macao to receive recognition in international institutional reviews. In 2011, our Computing Programme was accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in the UK,” she notes. “MPI successfully passed the Institutional Review conducted by the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in 2014, and received a judgement of ‘confidence’. This shows that the teaching quality, and other aspects of MPI, is on a par with UK universities, and achieves an international standard.” “Currently, more than 70 per cent of MPI programmes have been accredited. We will further seek other relevant accreditation agencies to evaluate individual programmes from UK, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Hong Kong and Taiwan etc. So the quality of our teaching is guaranteed,” Lei says. “Another strength is that MPI has a very long tradition of Portuguese language-based programmes,” Lei says. “MPI was established by people in the Portuguese-speaking community in 1902. After the handover, it continued to develop by merging with institutes of various government departments. Portuguese is an official language of Macao, and MPI can be considered an academic institution that provides the most comprehensive Portuguese-related curriculum and support. “For example, our Chinese-Portuguese Translation and Interpretation is a very popular programme. Every year, competition for admission is very keen. Most of the Chinese-Portuguese translator experts that are employed by the SAR government are MPI graduates,” says Lei. “We also offer a degree programme in Sino-Lusophone Trade Relations. Many Mainland enterprises are investing more in Portuguese-speaking regions, so the programme has attracted a high rate of enrollment,” says Lei. “Once every two to three years, Macao hosts China-Portugal trade conferences, and our teaching staff and students play many different roles at these. Job opportunities are plentiful for the graduates, in government organisations, public or private enterprises, and the teaching profession,” Lei says. According to Lei, MPI plays an important role in teacher training and in the publication and production of teaching materials related to the use of the Portuguese language in Macao and Mainland. The institute has a hand in the production of most of the Portuguese teaching materials used in Macao primary and secondary schools. “MPI is moving towards its goals of internationalisation and diversification,” Lei says. “We are engaging in exchanges with Portuguese-speaking Countries and the Greater China. We have already signed agreements of cooperation, or started joint development projects in science and technology, with more than 50 renowned international universities. These include UCLA in the US, Queen Mary University of London in the UK, and The Queensland University in Australia. We encourage our students to take part in overseas exchanges, too,” says Lei. “We keep up with the development of Macao in an active way. MPI nurtures many talents in diverse sectors of the creative arts, social work, government, and healthcare, not only in gaming and tourism. Nearly 90 per cent of our students find a job within a month of graduation, and achieve a monthly salary of 17,500 patacas. Their prospects are bright and promising,” Lei says.