Macao is the first region in Greater China to provide 15 years of free education. Non-tertiary education is classified into two types: formal education and continuing education.
Compulsory education is defined as universal education that is compulsory for all minors aged five to 15. It begins in the first academic year when a child turns five years old, and finishes with the end of the academic year in which he or she reaches 15 years of age, or when he or she completes junior secondary education with a pass. The Government and education institutions are obliged to ensure that school-age children complete such education.
Types and Composition of Non-tertiary Education
The types of non-tertiary education are: formal education and continuing education.
Formal education is divided into the following levels: 1) Infant education; 2) Primary education; and 3) Secondary education, including junior secondary education and senior secondary education. The learning periods of infant education, junior secondary school and senior secondary school are three years respectively; the learning period for primary education is six years.
Special education is to be conducted preferentially in regular schools in the form of inclusive education; it can also be conducted in special education institutions in other forms.
Courses of vocational and technical education can be established in schools of formal education and recurrent education.
Continuing education comprises various educational activities other than formal education, including family education, recurrent education, community education, vocational training and other educational activities.
The Government encourages schools to develop their own characteristics and style in terms of mission, curriculum development and teaching mode. The Government also supports the development of a diverse school system to nurture more talent for society.
The Macao school system comprises a free education network of public schools and subsidised private schools, together with private schools. Private schools in Macao can be classified into two types: those following the local education system and those following a non-local education system. Non-profit private schools that follow the local education system may apply for entry to the free education network.
There are 77 schools in Macao during the 2016/2017 academic year, of which 10 are public schools, while the remaining 67 are private.
Of the 67 private schools, 64 offer formal education, and three offer only recurrent education. Of the 74 schools (including 10 public schools and 64 private schools) that offer formal education, 64 are under the free education network, while the remaining 10 are under the paid education network.
Free Education Subsidies and Tuition Fee Subsidies
The Government offers free education subsidies to private schools within the free education network. Students studying in schools that do not provide free education are provided with tuition fee subsidies. The amount of both types of subsidy have been continuously increased.
2016/2017 Academic Year
Free Education Subsidies
2016/2017 Academic Year
Tuition Fee Subsidies
|Kindergarten||MOP 913,600 per class||MOP 18,400 per student|
|Primary||MOP 1,007,900 per class||MOP 20,500 per student|
|Junior Secondary||MOP 1,226,000 per class||MOP 22,800 per student|
|Senior Secondary||MOP 1,394,600 per class||MOP 22,800 per student|
In the 2009/2010 academic year, the Government started to offer textbook allowances to students who are Macao residents receiving formal education (including public and private schools) in Macao.
The textbook allowances for students of secondary and primary schools and kindergarten in the 2016/2017 academic year are MOP 3,000, MOP 2,600 and MOP 2,000 per head. The Government also grants a meal subsidy and school supplies subsidy to students whose family has financial difficulties and meet relevant household income requirements. The meal subsidy for each student is MOP 3,400 in the 2016/2017 academic year; the school supplies subsidy received by each kindergarten and primary school student is MOP 2,200 and secondary school student is MOP 2,900.
Enquiries about Information of Macao Schools (Source: DSEJ)
List of School Fees (Source: DSEJ)
School Admission Enquiries and Arrangement (Source: DSEJ)
Continuing Education Development Plan
To encourage life-long learning among residents, the Government launched the Continuing Education Development Plan 2014-2016, under which Macao residents aged 15 or above were eligible for a subsidy of MOP 6,000 to pursue continuing education. Under the plan, Macao residents are encouraged to purse continuing education to increase their knowledge and improve personal attainments and skills in order to adapt to the development of moderate economic diversification and build a learning society. Residents used this subsidy to enroll in approved courses or certificate and licence tests launched between 29th April 2014 and 31st December 2016.
Macao only started to develop modern tertiary education some 30 years ago. Since there were only a few tertiary education institutions in the early days, the range of programmes and disciplines offered by these institutions was relatively limited. However, as the number of institutions increased, and society demanded different types of expertise, the types of programme have diversified.
Macao has 10 tertiary educational institutions. Four of them are public and six are private. During the 2015/2016 academic year, there were 2,015 teaching staff and 31,970 registered students in these institutions, with 267 programmes including Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s degree programmes, higher diplomas, postgraduate certificates and higher diploma programmes.
In addition, overseas institutions were granted approval to offer 41 tertiary educational programmes.
Tertiary Educational Institutions (as of 2015/2016 Academic Year)
The University of Macau is an international public integrated university providing the faculties of Business Administration; Education; Social Sciences; Health Sciences; Arts and Humanities; Law; Science and Technology; Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences; and Honours College. The major medium of instruction is English, while some programmes are taught in Chinese, Portuguese or Japanese.
The new campus of the University of Macau was fully opened in 2014. In the 2015/2016 academic year, the University of Macau was dedicated to raising its academic and research capabilities, pursuing teaching and research excellence, expanding its international network, and optimising the four-in-one mode of education and residential colleges system, with a view to enriching the university experience and providing all-round support for students to develop their soft skills in tandem with academic achievements.
During 2014/2015, the University of Macau entered the Times Higher Education’s top 100 Young University Rankings for the first time, and was ranked among the top 300 universities in the world, demonstrating an impressive enhancement of the university’s soft and hard power and its remarkable development momentum.
Founded in September 1991, the Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI) is a public and multidisciplinary tertiary educational institution offering practically-oriented programmes, and is the first institution in Macao that has passed the assessment of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
It has numerous teaching departments, including schools of Languages and Translation; Business; Public Administration; Physical Education and Sports; Arts; Health Sciences; and several research centres and vocational training institutes. It also offers more than 10 joint Master’s degree programmes and Doctorate programmes in co-operation with renowned universities in China and overseas.
Officially established in 1995, the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) is a public tertiary education institution. IFT was the first education institute to obtain the TedQual Certification by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
It offers degree and professional programmes in a wide range of tourism-related disciplines such as hospitality, tourism business, heritage, events, retail and marketing, leisure and entertainment, sports and recreation, creative and cultural studies, and culinary arts. IFT also provides various programmes at the executive level in partnership with leading schools in the world. Regarding research, the institute is entrusted by local authorities to conduct policy level research related to tourism planning and development.
Established in July l988, the Academy of Public Security Forces is a public tertiary education institution under the jurisdiction of the Secretary for Security responsible for training the senior officers of Macao’s public security forces.
The Security Force Training Course offered by the Academy’s training centre provides professional technical training for junior trainees of the public security forces so that they can meet requirements on ethics, physicality and professional techniques. The Academy also provides on-the-job training for the promotion and professional development of public security force officers.
The City University of Macau received its name in 2011 following the transfer of ownership in September 2010 and is a private university providing tertiary education. The university comprises Faculties of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, International Tourism and Management, Education, the Open Institute, the School of Continuing Studies, as well as several research units. In the 2015/2016 academic year, the main campus was relocated to its new Taipa site.
The predecessor of the University of Saint Joseph, the Macau Inter-University Institute (IIUM), was established in 1996 and renamed University of Saint Joseph in December 2009. It is a private university providing a Faculty of Religious Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Administration and Leadership, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Faculty of Creative Industries, and Institute of Science and Environment.
The Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau – formerly the Kiang Wu Nursing and Midwifery School – was established in 1923. It became a private tertiary college in November 1999, and provides specialist training in nursing. Its first campus outside the hospital in the Macao Daily News Building in Mong Ha became fully operational in September 2013.
The Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) is a private university established in March 2000. It was the first non-profit integrated university to be established for the training of gifted students in applied technology since the founding of the MSAR.
The university comprises the Faculty of Information Technology, School of Business, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Arts and University International College. It also includes the School of Graduate Studies, School of Continuing Studies, Department of General Education, Institute for Sustainable Development, Macao Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health, Institute for Social and Cultural Research, the Space Science Institute, the State Key Laboratory for Quality Research in Chinese Medicine (Macau University of Science and Technology), Macau Institute of Translational Medicine, Macau Institute of Systems Engineering, Macau Environmental Research Institute, and the Lunar and Planetary Science Laboratory of the MUST (partner state key laboratory of the Ministry of Science and Technology).
The University Hospital, a subsidiary of the Macau University of Science and Technology Foundation, provides facilities for clinical teaching, scientific research and clinical practice by the Faculty of Chinese Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences.
The academic arm of the Macau Management Association, specialising in providing education and training services, Macau Institute of Management (MIM) was established in 1988. With Government approval in July 2000, MIM was upgraded to become a higher education institution offering degree programmes in management and accounting for people working in various industries in Macao in order to nurture business talent.
The institute offers a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree programme and a one-year Professional Diploma programme adopting an integrative learning approach. In addition to face-to-face teaching, it provides electronic learning whereby students can arrange their on-line class time according to their own schedule. It also works with an overseas university in jointly organising a Master’s degree programme.
The Macau Millennium College is a private tertiary education institution established in August 2001. To accommodate the needs of shift workers, the college offers ‘shift classes for shift workers.’ The two shift classes have identical lecture content. Students can choose to attend either the morning or evening sessions. Lecturers are mainly internationally renowned professors from the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The Government has established a tertiary education information website to provide information about tertiary education, public examinations and employment opportunities for the public. It also provides telephone and e-mail enquiry services to answer related queries. It has also co-operated with various community groups and organisations to organise diverse activities that provide information about tertiary education and internship programmes for tertiary students. On 8th November 2013, the Government established a service centre for university students serving as a comprehensive service desk for tertiary students and Macao citizens who intend to pursue tertiary education.
Allowances/ Subsidies for Tertiary Students
The Government has provided a MOP 3,000 allowance for textbooks and stationery for each local tertiary and postgraduate student studying in Macao or overseas.
The Government encourages student organisations to conduct activities that meet students’ interests through the Tertiary Student Activity Fund.
Subsidy Scheme for Enrolment of Outstanding Students to Pedagogical Programmes (Chinese and Portuguese only)
In the 2012/2013 academic year, the Government launched the Subsidy Scheme for Enrolment of Outstanding Students to Pedagogical Programmes in order to subsidise the study of outstanding students in Bachelor’s degree programmes with pedagogical training. The students are required to work as teachers in Macao upon completing the programmes to ensure solid development of the teaching workforce.
Subvention Scheme for Training Portuguese-speaking Teachers and Language Experts (Chinese and Portuguese only)
The Subvention Scheme for Training Portuguese-speaking Teachers and Language Experts has been implemented since the 2013/2014 academic year to subsidise high school graduates in pursuit of Bachelor’s degrees in the Portuguese and Spanish languages and Master’s degrees in education, as well as Bachelor’s degrees and/or Master’s degrees in applied foreign languages in Portugal.
The Government also reached a co-operation agreement with the Catholic University of Portugal to organise preparatory courses on the Portuguese language and culture for Macao students pursuing studies in Portugal. Students who have attained a pass in the courses will be directly enrolled into the above-mentioned programmes offered by the university. Upon graduation, students are obliged to serve in Macao and be engaged in Portuguese language teaching or jobs related to the Portuguese language.
Disbursing Postgraduate Scholarships
The Postgraduate Scholarships Grants Committee (CTABE) has been responsible for the application and distribution of the Postgraduate Scholarships for Macao residents since 2004. The related application procedure is handled by the Tertiary Education Services Office.