The Society for Research into Higher Education

Paul Temple

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Light at the end of the tunnel?

By Paul Temple

Metaphors involving the word “light” are often invoked to describe the university’s task. Arriving at the new campus of the University of Macau, such metaphors seem redundant: you emerge into the daylight from a one-and-a-half kilometre tunnel which links the campus, which is in Chinese territory, with Macau. This is necessary because, despite extensive land reclamation, there wasn’t enough space in Macau itself to build the one square kilometre campus deemed necessary to meet the higher education needs of the Macau SAR (Special Administrative Region), the ex-Portuguese counterpart of Hong Kong, an hour away across the Pearl River estuary. Because movement between Macau and the rest of China is tightly controlled (as with Hong Kong), the new campus had to be separated from the rest of the mainland by a security fence and what is in effect a moat. The only access is by the tunnel. Continue reading