Lawrence Tsui has played a pioneering role in the promotion of adult continuing education in East Asia. He has been instrumental in fighting for legislation for adult continuing, community, and recurrent education and establishing a learning society in Macau. He was founding director of continuing education at the University of Macau, founder of the Macau Association for Continuing Education, standing committee member of the Macau Education Council, and chair of the Committee for Adult, Special, and Arts Education. Since 1979, he has been an active member of the Asian South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education (ASPBAE). He helped organize exchanges and projects between many East Asian cities and countries, including Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau. From the beginning of his professional career, his perspective has been to ‘‘nourish the attitude and skill of lifelong learning.”
In 1984, Tsui used his experience of community education in Hong Kong to promote adult education by linking labor unions, women’s groups, returning Chinese, associations, chambers of commerce, and other entities to form the Macau Association for Continuing Education. In 1986, he was appointed by ASPBAE to be coordinator of China affairs. He initiated and managed many projects in China, Vietnam, and Mongolia as well as exchange activities for East Asian countries. In the 1980s and early 1990s, many adult education scholars and practitioners in China and Taiwan had difficulties participating in international and regional events due to language barriers. Tsui helped to organize activities for Chinese and Taiwanese adult and continuing educators.
In 1999, the year Portugal returned Macau to China, he returned to Macau and established recurrent education schools for adults. (Recurrent schools in Macau are a second chance at education for adults and school dropouts.) In 1999, he founded the Xin Hua Junior Secondary School, and in 2003 he founded the Millennium Senior Secondary School and served as its principal.
At the University of Macau (originally, the University of East Asia) in the 1980s, Tsui drew upon the human resources of the university to offer continuing education courses to the Macau community. More than 3,000 adults enrolled in these courses each season. His College for Continuing Education created distance learning degrees in the Chinese language for adults in Hong Kong and Macau. While coordinating projects in China and Mongolia in the 1990s, Tsui initiated joint projects related to agricultural, women, environmental, and labor issues, showing the importance of adult/continuing education element in these activities. He served as elected president of the Social Workers Association in Macau from 1994 to 1996.
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