20 Jul 2020

Important Changes to Fall 2020 Arrangements

20 Jul 2020

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Important Changes to Fall 2020 Arrangements

In our previous letter dated 30 June 2020, we mapped out a plan for the start of the 2020–21 academic year. While we were mindful of a possible resurgence of COVID-19 in Hong Kong and had planned for it, the situation then allowed resumption of on-campus face-to-face teaching and learning with safe social distancing and other health protection measures in place. Today, with the alarming surge of COVID-19 in Hong Kong and many other parts of the world, it is evident that we need to raise the emergency response level and activate our contingency plan for the Fall Term.  To ensure the health and wellbeing of our students and staff, the following measures will now be put in place:

  1. All student orientation activities will be conducted online. Social distancing, avoidance of group gatherings and minimizing the use of public transport will help mitigate the spread of infection.
  2. Classes will be conducted online until such time as the pandemic stabilizes. Given the valuable experience gained in the last academic year and the continued investment in enhancing our e-learning capacity, including synchronous teaching, we are confident that online teaching will be able to achieve the desired learning outcomes while keeping our students and staff safe from possible infection. With strong pedagogical justification, exceptions may be granted for lab/studio/practicum-based and professional undergraduate and postgraduate courses on a case-by-case basis. No effort will be spared, including assistance for students with special needs, in providing a fruitful learning experience for all students. Further details will be forthcoming when the timetable is finalized, and advance notice will be given for any subsequent changes.
  3. Students currently residing outside Hong Kong are strongly advised not to return to campus at this time. This may necessitate changes to your travel arrangements, but your health and safety must come first. For students who have already started their journey or are unable to change their travel plans, please be reminded that stringent medical testing at the port of entry, and for some areas, port of embarkation, will be required. Compulsory quarantine upon arrival will also be strictly observed. Your affiliated Colleges and hostels will be in touch soon to provide support and guidance.
  4. Hostel applications for local students will be suspended until further notice. Students domiciled locally are advised to avoid crowded places and make every effort to keep COVID-19 at bay. You will hear from your affiliated College on the specific arrangements.

We understand that the above measures will cause considerable disruption, and understandably, disappointment. The recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong and elsewhere teaches us how little we know of this disease and how important it is to be able to respond quickly and responsibly. We would like to reiterate that the health and wellbeing of our campus community remains our top priority, and we seek your understanding and continued support as we navigate together through this difficult time. With a concerted community effort, COVID-19 can be contained, if not defeated.

This will not be the last time we write before the Fall Term commences. There may be further adjustments, and alternative plans based on different scenarios are in place. We will of course continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you informed.

In the meantime, we wish you a safe and productive summer.


Yours sincerely,

Rocky S. Tuan                                     Alan K.L. Chan
Vice-Chancellor and President            Provost