COVID-19 Information for Prospective Students
The University and the world are now facing unprecedented challenges under the COVID-19. We are keenly aware of the challenging situations faced by our prospective postgraduate students. In this regard, the University is making the following arrangements to better facilitate and support our applicants and offer-holders:
1. Updated Academic Arrangements for Winter and Spring 2020/21
Mode of Delivery
Class arrangements for the Winter and Spring terms will be almost identical to what we have had in the Fall term. Specifically,
- During the Winter term, all classes will be held in mixed-mode (i.e., students participate in a class either in-person or online), while still observing the social distancing measures and other relevant guidelines, with the exceptions laid out in point 4 below.
During the Add-Drop period of the Spring term, all classes will be held in real-time online mode, with the possible exceptions mentioned in points 4d and 4e below.
After the Add-Drop period of the Spring term, all classes will be held in mixed-mode (i.e., students participate in a class either in-person or online) while still observing the social distancing measures and other relevant guidelines, with the exceptions laid out in point 4 below.
- The following exceptions to points 1 and 3 will apply in the Winter and Spring terms:
- All classes with enrolments greater than 75 will only be held in real-time online mode.
- All Language classes will only be held in real-time online mode.
- Some UG classes may remain online in the interest of educational quality, e.g., due to the nature of class interactions, group work, etc. The details for specific classes will be announced by instructors later.
- Lab classes will make their own arrangements.
- TPg programs may make their own arrangements.
General Thoughts about Planning
Please note again that the mixed-mode arrangements are for selected classes and are auxiliary to the real-time online mode. These arrangements will not disadvantage students who are physically outside Hong Kong or feel uncomfortable in coming to campus. Students, regardless of local or non-local, are not required to be physically on campus to complete the class and examination arrangements. If you are not in Hong Kong, please do not make travel plans just because of the optional mixed-mode arrangements. Indeed, based on the experience of some students who changed their plans in the middle of the Fall term, we suggest that you contact your academic advisor if needed and then make a firm decision well in time for the entire Winter/Spring term, rather than changing plans on the basis of the fluctuating pandemic situation in the middle of the term. Opportunities for face to face interactions and mixed-mode delivery in classes will depend on the pandemic situation and restrictions may need to be imposed at any time.
If you have further queries on the academic arrangements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on academic arrangements.
2. Program Registration Arrangement for Winter and Spring 2020/21
The Academic Registry will make special arrangements for students to complete the online program registration, as long as the admission offer is confirmed. Check out the email notification and follow the instructions to complete the program registration.
3. Quarantine Arrangement
If any new MPhil/PhD students who are assigned a hall place in 2020-21 residential year and want to come to the campus, please let your supervisor or academic department know your plan as soon as possible and plan for arriving earlier to fulfill the quarantine requirement. The University will try to provide the support through the University managed quarantine facilities at subsidized rate, based on eligibility criteria and subject to availability of quarantine spaces. For the details, please visit here.
4. Immigration Measures for Entry to Hong Kong
- With effect from 25 March 2020, all non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas countries and regions by plane will be denied entry to Hong Kong. For non-Hong Kong residents coming from the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan, they will be denied entry to Hong Kong if they have been to any overseas countries and regions in the past 14 days. For those coming to Hong Kong for study with a valid and approved visa, even if it is un-activated, they may be permitted to enter as a Hong Kong resident, subject to quarantine requirement. For more details, please visit: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/inbound-travel.html.
- Some airline/immigration staff at your departure port might not be fully aware of the above immigration measures for entry to Hong Kong. In case you encounter any difficulties/emergency matters during your travel, you are advised to seek help from International SOS (ISOS) at +852 2528 9900 (collect calls will be accepted) or +1 215 942 8226. ISOS is a medical and security services company that offers 24/7 assistance worldwide. Please quote HKUST Membership number “07AYCA093635” when seeking assistance from ISOS. Also, you are strongly advised to download the ISOS Assistance App before your departure to Hong Kong. More information could be found at: https://studyabroad.ust.hk/outbound/resources/international-sos.
5. Submission of Official Documents for Offer Confirmation
Students will only be allowed to proceed to register as our students after all the required official documents for offer confirmation are verified. This applies to all new students, regardless of whether he/she is holding a firm offer or a conditional offer. The documents should include documentary proof for meeting condition(s) for admission as stated in the offer letter.
In the case that a person holding an offer fails to fulfill the admission conditions and/or submit the official documents to meet the University’s verification requirements, we regret that
- the person will not be allowed to register as a student in the program stated in the offer letter;
- the person will no longer be eligible for the housing arranged by the university;
- his/her student visa will be void and the University will inform the HKSAR Immigration Department accordingly. He/She must leave Hong Kong regardless of the timing of arriving Hong Kong. Otherwise, he/she is legally liable.
For applicants who are not able to take the TOEFL or IELTS due to the test suspensions, the University is now accepting the following test results as alternatives in meeting the University English Language admission requirements. It is a special arrangement applicable to applicants admitted in Fall 2020/21, Spring 2020/21 or Fall 2021/22 under COVID-19; subject to change when the regular TOEFL or IELTS tests become available again.
- TOEFL-iBT Home Edition: Total score of 80 in one single attempt
- IELTS Indicator: Overall score of 6.5 and All sub-score of 5.5
- Duolingo English Test: Score of 105
Some programs may stipulate additional English Language requirements for admissions. For more information, please click here.
7. Visa Reissuance for Non-Local PG Students (for Fall 2020/21 intake)
- With the adoption of online teaching mode in Fall 2020, some students might choose to come to Hong Kong later when situation permits. According to the latest advice from the Immigration Department (ImmD) in Hong Kong, non-local students, including both from overseas and mainland, who could not enter Hong Kong within the validity of his/her visa label/entry permit for the Fall 2020/21 could apply for reissuance through the University.
- Please kindly submit the visa reissuance requests only after the expiry date of current visa and at least 5-6 weeks prior to the expected arrival date in Hong Kong. Students are expected to come to HK within the validity period of the new visa labels, i.e. 3 months after reissuance. Each student could apply for visa re-issuance once and NO second request for visa reissuance could be allowed.
- Students are advised to contact your academic department/program office for submitting your visa reissuance request.
8. Suspension of PG Exchange, PG Visiting Internship and Visiting PG Programs for Fall 2020/21 and Spring 2020/21
To ensure student health and safety, the University has decided to suspend the PG Exchange, PG Visiting Internship and Visiting PG Programs in Fall 2020/21 and Spring 2020/21.
Please stay well and healthy during these difficult time. If you have any enquiries related to the above, feel free to contact us.
Last update: 19 November 2020