Statement on status of UBC students in Hong Kong

UBC’s number one priority is to ensure our students, faculty and staff are supported and safe, whether studying at UBC or abroad.

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UBC’s number one priority is to ensure our students, faculty and staff are supported and safe, whether studying at UBC or abroad.

There were 31 UBC students on exchange and in co-op in Hong Kong and they were attending the following universities – Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Hong Kong University.

We contacted all of those students last week, advised they leave and discussed their options to ensure they feel safe and supported.

As of today, Nov. 20, 20 have left and the 11 remaining are safe and accounted for. We are working with them on travel arrangements. Our recommendation to them is that they leave.

  • 6 have firm departure plans leaving before end of November
  • 3 are with family in Hong Kong and wish to stay
  • We are working with the remaining 2 on travel planning
  • All students that are departing have been offered emergency bursaries to support their departure valued at $1000.
    • 27 students have successfully received a bursary.

We are working with our partner universities in Hong Kong to determine if our students can complete their term from a distance to ensure they receive academic credit for their exchange.

At this point, our partner schools have made the decision to suspend in-person classes or to end the term early.  We do not know when they will be able to reopen and resume normal operations.

With this in mind the university has made the difficult decision to cancel term two exchanges to Hong Kong.

  • All students have been emailed and informed of the cancelation for term 2, given options to switch, defer, or withdraw
  • 20 of 22 students have been in touch and plans are currently underway
  • We are working with the affected students around travel and admin fee reimbursement process.

We recognize that students may be disappointed and we share that disappointment.

In the coming days, the university will work with affected students, providing a number of options including switching to a new university, deferring their exchange or withdrawing from their exchange.

The university is committed to working closely with our students to find a solution which will best meet their needs – connecting them to the appropriate academic and student services resources to ensure a smooth transition.

We are also working with students to help them with their travel arrangements as needed.

The university will continue to monitor this situation as it evolves.

Ainsley Carry
Vice-President, Students