Macao currently has 4 public and 6 private higher education institutions, including integrated education-based and research-based universities, multidisciplinary polytechnic institutions focused on applied education, as well as professional institutions that focus on training tourism and exhibition and meeting planners, gaming specialists, paramedics, and other management professionals.
Even though Macao's modern higher education institutions have a relatively short history, they have developed and flourished during the past 30 years, attracting an increasing amount of non-local students.
At the same time, in recent years, over 50% of local high school graduates stay in Macao to further their education. Macao's higher education institutions are attractive to both locals and non-locals alike.
Not only Macao's higher education institutions have close relations with its geographic and cultural neighbors -- mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. -- due to its historical connections, Macao also has close contacts with the EU, especially Portugal. Every year, cooperative endeavors are conducted between Macao and these places. At the same time, there is also close contacts maintained with various educational institutions in the Americas and the rest of the world.
Currently, Macao has signed cooperative documents on higher education with the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, State Ethnic Affairs Commission of the People's Republic of China, the Department of Education of Guangdong Province, and the education authorities of Portugal. It has also carried out various cooperations with relevant regions in higher education and other areas based on the Pan Pearl River Delta cities and Guangdong-Macao regional cooperative mechanisms.
In recent years, Macao has actively maintained a relationship with the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education. The government has joined 3 International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education networks, including the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation's CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG). Through joining international networks and participating in their events, Macao’s relationships and cooperation with foreign institutions have grown stronger. The global experience gained through these networks promotes better quality evaluation within Macao's higher education system.
Furthermore, Macao's higher education institutions have actively created internal quality assurance mechanisms and participated in higher education evaluations. During 2014-2016, Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI), Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, and Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) all passed England's Reviews Group of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education's evaluation. The University of Macau's Civil Engineering, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, and Accounting programs; Macao Polytechnic institution's Computer Science, Accounting, Chinese-Portuguese / Portuguese-Chinese Translation programs; and the Macau University of Science and Technology's Business Administration and Accounting programs have all passed academic evaluation or received professional certification. The Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao Polytechnic Institute, and the City University of Macau's Tourism Management programs received the World Tourism Organization's TedQUAL certification for exceptional tourism education, raising their quality standards and increasing their reputation. At the same time, the Macao government has committed to creating a system for reviewing higher education quality. It will also continue approving new programs to be set up in Macao and regularly evaluating existing ones to ensure that their quality is maintained.