Education System in Macau
The education system in Macau is perhaps best described as non-regulated. A lack of interest in the past resulted in individual churches, expatriate groups and cultural groups starting schools for their own purposes, which is why schools teaching in Macau, Chinese, Portuguese and English exist largely in parallel, and why these are at best state-subsidized. In principle, the first 9 years of education is free to students at schools that meet certain government requirements, of which the first 6 usually take place at a form of primary school.
The majority of secondary-level schools are so-called grammar schools offering tuition in languages, maths, natural sciences and social studies. Of the 6 years involved, the first 3 are an introductory phase after which many leave because education will no longer be free to them. Those who stay on for the final 3 years often separate into science, commerce and arts streams. At the end of this period, they may choose to sit a leaving examination appropriate to the type of tertiary study that they have in mind.
There are few vocational schools in Macau, and those that exist offer technical tuition in spheres like car repair, electrical engineering and electronics. Those who cannot afford the fees, study at the university of life instead.
By contrast, the state is well-endowed with approximately 10 higher-learning institutions, including the Inter-University of Macau, and the University of Macau illustrated here. The latter was established in 1981, being formerly known as the University of East Asia.
Its campus is currently on Taipa Island where it presents almost 100 bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree programs. Plans are in hand to relocate it to Hengqin Island, connected to the mainland by tunnel and expected to be completed in 2012.