The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ms. Ao Ieong U, has encouraged the latest batch of IFTM graduates to strive to achieve their career goals and contribute to the city’s development, despite current challenges linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The country’s 14th Five-Year Plan and the 2nd Five-Year Plan of the Macao SAR will lead us to progressive development”, she said in a speech delivered at the IFTM Graduation Ceremony 2022, held on 8 June at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion. A “promising future” was on offer, but, at the same time, there were “numerous challenges”, noted the Secretary.
Addressing the new graduates, Ms. Ao Ieong said: “I hope that, in the face of social and economic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, you will be able to move forward with your heads held high, maintaining your initial aspirations, acquiring additional knowledge, striving unceasingly to achieve your goals, and contributing to the development of Macao.”
The official was attending the Graduation Ceremony also as Representative of the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR. She presided over the event, accompanied by the Chair of the IFTM Council, Mr. Chan Chak Mo, and the IFTM President, Dr. Fanny Vong Chuk Kwan.
A total of 468 students concluded studies at IFTM in academic year 2021/2022. For the second time at a graduation ceremony, in addition to awarding diplomas and bachelor’s degrees, the Institute also granted postgraduate degrees.
In her address during the ceremony, Secretary Ao Ieong highlighted the Institute’s long-standing contribution regarding the training of professionals for Macao’s tourism and hospitality industry. “I hope that IFTM will continue to explore new areas of development and focus on innovation, in order to train more multiskilled professionals, needed for the advancement of the city’s cultural and tourism industries,” she said.
Knowledge and wisdom needed
In her speech at the event, IFTM President Dr. Vong pointed out that since its establishment in 1995, the Institute had grown significantly, while also expanding its international reputation. She added that, in the “QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022”, IFTM had been placed third among higher education institutions in Asia – and 23rd in the world – in the field of Hospitality and Leisure Management.
Dr. Vong also said IFTM was working to innovate regarding its teaching methods, as well as to enhance its research capabilities, and collaborate with other top institutions and universities at home and abroad.
She noted that the Institute had recently joined forces with the Swiss Education Group, the largest hospitality management education provider in Switzerland, to offer a ‘3+1 Dual Bachelor’s Degree Programme’. It enables IFTM students to study for a year in Switzerland and get a bachelor’s degree from either of 2 schools within the Swiss Education Group, in addition to a bachelor’s degree from IFTM. The move was “in preparation for accelerated development of international cooperation after the pandemic,” Dr. Vong said.
Addressing the graduating class, she noted that “only with a calm and responsive exertion of knowledge and wisdom can we finally get out of the plight” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Vong additionally told the latest IFTM graduates: “May you take great strides toward prosperity, fulfil yourself in the next stage of your life journey, and contribute to the development of our country and the Macao SAR.”