18 Aug 2021

Advisory on Campus Activities for the New Semester and Update on Vaccination Leave for Staff

18 Aug 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Advisory on Campus Activities for the New Semester and Update on Vaccination Leave for Staff

As the start of a new academic year approaches, we are making final preparations to welcome our students back to the University.  Many of them, and not just the first-year students, have not yet set foot on our beautiful campus and are eager to start or resume their learning journey with us, on site and in person.

Thankfully, Hong Kong has done very well, by international standards, in controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2.  Nevertheless, the threat of the Delta variant cannot be taken lightly.  As we gear up for the fall semester under the new normal, we should be mindful of the need to continue to exercise every precaution in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of all colleagues and students.

Vaccination remains critical to defending against COVID-19.  I urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, or if in doubt, seek medical advice.  Your health matters.  As a community, we also have a responsibility to do our part in preventing the spread of the pandemic.  Vaccination is important to the socioeconomic health of Hong Kong as well, which is equally under threat.

We have appealed to our students separately to complete their vaccination before term starts, and steps have already been taken to ensure that students residing on campus are vaccinated or undergo regular testing. Here, I would call upon all colleagues to take the lead in demonstrating our resolve to keep COVID at bay.  While mandatory vaccination for all staff and students may yet be needed, if the situation takes a turn for the worse, we hope we can reach a sufficiently high rate of vaccination to establish a strong defensive base against any possible COVID resurgence.  

To facilitate colleagues to receive their vaccination, the Staff Vaccination Leave scheme will be extended to the end of October.  This aligns with the Government’s extension of the operation of the Community Vaccination Centres, including our own CUHK Medical Centre, until 31 October 2021.  Please refer to the following webpage for details of the leave scheme:

Special teaching arrangements, as announced previously, will be made available to students who cannot enter Hong Kong due to travel restrictions or are in quarantine during the first weeks of classes. The Registry is in contact with these students.  Once students’ course registration is completed by the end of August, they will be guided to work with the course teachers concerned on the mode of instruction that will ensure uninterrupted learning.

Social distancing works in limiting the spread of infectious diseases.  Class activities that involve close physical contact among students should be avoided or postponed till conditions become more favorable.  Similarly, student activities should strictly observe all precautionary infection control measures.  Event organizers are reminded to stay vigilant to ensure that every precaution is in place and observed.

The new semester marks our return to face-to-face campus activities after 19 months of online classes.  Students will benefit from the interaction that campus life affords, even with all the necessary precautionary measures in place.  The University will continue to monitor the situation closely and may adopt more stringent infection control measures if conditions warrant.

Thank you for working together so brilliantly in a challenging time.  With collective vigilance, we can be confident that the new academic year will bring intellectual excitement safely back to our campus once more.


With all best wishes,
Alan K.L. Chan