Before You Leave for Hong Kong
- IMPORTANT – read the detailed information provided by the Hong Kong Government (HKG) for Inbound Travellers, https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/inbound-travel.html. You will find important information such as procedures for entry, quarantine arrangements, infection control advice.
- Those arriving in Hong Kong via the Hong Kong International Airport will be required to proceed to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) for collecting their deep throat saliva samples immediately upon arrival. If your test results are negative, you will be allowed to go home or to a designated place immediately to continue completion of the 14-day compulsory quarantine. Confirmed cases and their close contacts will respectively be arranged for admission to hospital and sent to designated quarantine centres directly.
- Please also read the latest update on the HKU COVID-19 Back To School page: https://covid19.hku.hk
- The University will not provide any facilities for quarantine. The halls of residence will NOT be used for quarantine purposes. Prior to entering the residential halls or participating in classes, you will be obligated to undergo and complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine. You should have booked your hotel or arranged your own designated place for such purpose.
- Some hotels are open to receiving students for quarantine purposes. You can find some information on the HKU COVID-19 Website https://covid19.hku.hk/control/quarantine/ HKG also provides a list https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/inbound/hotels_en.pdf You need to show proof of hotel booking record.
- Hotels provide “Room Only” and “Room + Meals” packages. Some of the hotels allow outside food delivery while some don’t.
- You are required to go to your designated place directly and are not supposed to do your shopping on your way or go out of the location during the quarantine period. So it is better for you to bring some basic necessity, and to find a friend to help with some simple shopping. Most delivery services do not provide door-to-door delivery service, but will simply deliver items to the lobby or even outside the building. If you are doing your quarantine in the community and not in hotels, you might need help from friends or you may wish to check with your building management about delivery service from street level to your door.
- Since persons under quarantine have to stay at the premises at all times, you are encouraged to consider packing the following before you leave for Hong Kong:
- Cash and credit card for online purchase. E-payment is accepted in some cases. These are important if you need to buy food or order delivery.
- A Hong Kong mobile phone number and/or Wi-Fi to do some of the food ordering or online purchase via mobile apps.
- To do online learning, you need to make sure the place has Wi-Fi.
- A smartphone to install the “StayHomeSafe” mobile app for compulsory quarantine.
- Masks for your travel and for travelling to your hotel or designated place. It is better to bring more masks, though you can still buy them in the shops after the quarantine period.
- If you plan to stay at home for quarantine, you should ask your co-living family members or friends and relatives to acquire your basic daily necessities and/or food for you. You may also consider online shopping and have items delivered to your door but you should not let anyone enter your home to reduce the risk of people being exposed to infection. If you plan to stay at a hotel, you should acquire what you need through the staff of the hotel.
- Bring a thermometer, as you need to measure your temperature twice a day.
- Travel adaptor (Three-pronged UK-style plug, with 220 volts AC, 50Hz).
- Snacks or comfort food from home, canned food, instant noodles, etc.
- Any prescribed medication.
- Comfortable clothes. Hotels are air-conditioned and so you need to be prepared for this.
- Washing machines or washing powder might not be available for use, so you need to be prepared for washing your clothings by hand, or bring more clothes for use during these 14 days.
Practical Advice for Students under Compulsory Home Quarantine
- You will be under HKSAR Government’s “Compulsory 14-day Quarantine Order” upon your return to Hong Kong and you MUST NOT leave your dwelling places throughout the whole period. Please study carefully the official documents provided by the Government’s Immigration Department and strictly follow.
- Please switch on your mobile phone ALL THE TIME and stay alert for phone calls from the Government’s Department of Health. Random spot checks will be conducted by the Department of Health from time to time.
- Any person who leave the dwelling places without permission during the quarantine period may commit a criminal offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is imprisonment for six months and a fine of HK$25,000.
- You must take your own temperature twice a day and fill in the “Health-monitoring Checklist” provided by the Centre of Health Protection of HKSAR Government.
- Once you have arrived in Hong Kong, you must arrive at the designated place for compulsory quarantine within 2 hours.
- If you stay at home under quarantine, you should ask your co-living family members or friends and relatives to acquire your basic daily necessities and/or food for you. For friends and relatives not living with you, they should deliver these items to your door but they should not enter your home to reduce the risk of them being exposed to infection. You should avoid having close contact with anyone.
- There are several commonly used food delivery apps in Hong Kong, please order your meals if necessary:
deliveroo foodpanda Uber Eats
Items to Bring Before Departure
- Travel document with valid visa
- Cash in Hong Kong dollars
- Credit cards
- Travel adaptor (Three-pronged UK-style plug, with 220 volts AC, 50Hz)
- Surgical masks
- Canned food, instant noodles etc.
Maintain social distancing
- Do not invite visitors to your quarantine place
- Stay in a well-ventilated single room if possible
- Keep a distance from others as much as possible (at least 1 metre)
- Do not share towels or personal items, and separately placed yours from those of other family members
- Perform hand hygiene frequently and observe cough etiquette
- Clean and disinfect your home environment daily with 1 in 99 diluted household bleach (mixing 10 ml of bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite with 990 ml of water), leave for 15-30 minutes and then rinse with water. For metallic surface, disinfect with 70% alcohol
- After using the toilet, put the toilet lid down before flushing, and pour about half a litre of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) regularly
- Designate a toilet to be used only by the confinee as far as possible. If the toilet is shared with other members of the household, clean and disinfect the toilet after each use by the confinee with 1 in 49 diluted household bleach. Clean and disinfect the washing basin with 1 in 49 diluted household bleach if contaminated with sputum or saliva of the confinee e.g. after rinsing mouth or brushing teeth
- Do not touch commonly shared items with family members such as TV control panel, radio control panel, door handles, unless you disinfect your hand with alcohol-based handrub first
- Avoid meal gatherings and do not share food or drinks
- Eat in your own room; if not possible, face a wall when eating
- There is no need to do separate laundry
- Do not smoke and avoid alcohol consumption
- If you develop a fever and have acute respiratory symptoms or feel unwell, make sure your mask is worn properly, call the Department of Health hotline immediately for advice and arrange to go to a public hospital for further management
- Can I apply for deferred admission and rejoin the Programme a year later? Admission deferrals are not possible and you are required to re-apply for admission for the next year.
- My visa has been approved by Hong Kong Immigration Department, but I cannot enter Hong Kong within three months, what should I do?
Please notify HKU AAL Visa Office to put on hold your visa immediately. All visa applications with on-hold requests will only be handled from 1 September 2020 onwards due to the visa validity limitation. The exact time will depend on upcoming arrangements. AAL will email you again in early September on visa collection arrangements.
- I received an email from HKU AAL Visa Office that my visa had been approved by Hong Kong Immigration Department, but I cannot enter Hong Kong in December, when should I apply for a new student visa?
Please notify HKU AAL Visa Office immediately. AAL will put on hold your visa application and further discuss with Hong Kong Immigration Department about whether you should collect your visa permit from Hong Kong Immigration Department at that time or are required to apply for a new visa.
Please note that new visa application processing time is around 8-10 weeks.
All visa applications with on-hold requests will only be handled from 1 September 2020 onwards due to the visa validity limitation. The exact time will depend on upcoming arrangements. You will receive an email from AAL about visa arrangements in early September.
- I received my visa two days ago and it says that I have to enter Hong Kong before 26 September. Does this requirement still apply if I choose to attend live-streaming classes in Semester 1?
Activation deadline means the visa permit will be expired after the deadline. If you choose to study remotely for Semester 1, it means that you will not be able to activate the visa by that deadline. You should therefore apply for a new student visa around 8-10 weeks before you come to Hong Kong.
- Do I need to wait until my current visa expires (i.e., till the activation deadline) to re-apply for a student visa in case I cannot enter Hong Kong by the deadline?
All student visa applications, including re-applications, take around 8-10 weeks to process. It is not necessary to wait until your current visa to expire to re-apply. You can start preparing for the new student visa application as soon as you can confirm when to enter Hong Kong.
- Is it necessary to re-submit all the materials if I want to re-apply for a new student visa?
Yes. The process of re-applying for a new student visa is the same as your previous one.
- The activation deadline printed on my visa permit is 26 September. Can I enter Hong Kong on 25 September or I have to enter Hong Kong 14 days earlier for quarantine purposes?
You should enter Hong Kong on or before the activation deadline printed on the visa permit, and complete the 14-day compulsory quarantine after entering Hong Kong.
- If I am currently residing in Hong Kong, can I activate the visa permit without departing and entering Hong Kong due to the pandemic?
If there are no ways for you to depart Hong Kong and enter Hong Kong again to activate the visa permit, please email HKU AAL Visa Office for a supporting letter. Then, you should submit the letter to Hong Kong Immigration Department to apply for visa permit activation.
- Can I enter Hong Kong to activate the visa, and leave immediately?
According to the regulations by the Hong Kong SAR Government, inbound travellers are subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine.
Any person concerned who leaves the dwelling place during the quarantine period without permission may commit a criminal offence. The penalty upon conviction is imprisonment and a fine.
- I have not uploaded my firm offer to the visa application system yet but Hong Kong Immigration Department has approved my visa application, and HKU AAL Visa Office has collected my visa permit. Could I just wait until I am able to enter Hong Kong and then upload the firm offer to the system instead of re-applying for a new visa permit?
If you have decided to take up your studies at HKU Business School, you should upload the firm offer as soon as possible. You can check your visa application status via the online visa application system. If HKU AAL Visa Office has collected your visa, there should be a visa permit activation date. If you are unable to enter Hong Kong by the activation deadline, you are required to re-apply for a new visa around 8-10 weeks before you enter Hong Kong.
- If I want to attend the live-streaming classes in Semester 1 and will not enter Hong Kong this year, and I have not uploaded my firm offer to the visa application system yet, can I wait until December and then upload the firm offer to the system, so that I do not need to re-apply for a new visa?
If you have decided to take up your studies at HKU Business School, please upload the firm offer as soon as possible. Your visa application might be terminated due to the missing firm offer and you will be required to re-apply for a new visa around 8-10 weeks before you come to Hong Kong.
- Will the School arrange hotels for us in September for quarantine purposes?
Please refer to the following table for hotels that accept bookings for the 14-day compulsory quarantine, and contact the hotel(s) directly for all enquiries and bookings by yourself.
- When and where should I apply for the Hong Kong Identity Card? What materials do I need to prepare?
Details of Hong Kong Identity Card application can be found here: https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/hkid/general_info.html
- Does the School arrange accommodation for us, or we should arrange accommodation by ourselves?
Students should arrange accommodation by themselves. Given the limited places in university accommodation, many masters students cannot be allocated a place and have to rent a room or flat off campus. You can find more information on the CEDARS webpage. CEDARS offers assistance in matters relating to the renting of a room or flat off campus. Please write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help.
- I have applied for university accommodation. When can I receive results of the application?
Application results will be announced by the accommodation you have applied for, usually in August.
- When is the orientation of my Programme?
The following table lists all orientation dates of the 6 Masters Programmes:
12 September 2020 AM
14 September 2020 AM
11 September 2020 PM
15 September 2020 AM
11 September 2020 AM
12 September 2020 PM
- Does the School provide Cantonese Courses?
Yes. Details of the Cantonese Course will be announced when the semester starts, probably in late September.
- When do I need to complete the Master Registration and how?
You will likely receive from the School an email containing the registration packaging, which includes all Master Registration details, in the week of 17 August 2020. Please follow the instructions and complete the registration as soon as you receive the package. Only after completing the online Master Registration will you be able to enroll in classes etc later.
- When can I access the HKU Portal, my HKU email and collect my Student ID Card?
Upon completing the online Master Registration, you will have access to the HKU Portal and your HKU email. You should submit a passport-size photograph and supporting documents online for producing your Student Registration Card (commonly known as “Student ID Card”). An acknowledgment email will be sent to your HKU email account to inform you of the collection date and venue when your Student Registration Card is ready, and you must come in person to collect the Card.
Course Selection and Enrollment
- How many courses can I enroll in for each module? How many modules are there in total?
We recommend you to enroll in 2 courses for each module. Please pay attention to the graduation requirements and the teaching schedules when planning which courses to take. There are 6-7 modules in total, depending on the curriculum of each Programme.
- Can I choose which section to enroll in if a course has multiple sections?
Yes you may, using the Course Selection System when you enroll in courses.
- Can I enroll in courses offered by other Masters Programmes?
Yes, you may enroll in courses offered by other Masters Programmes within HKU Business School using your inter-programme elective quotas. Your Programme Office will provide you with a list of these courses in November.
- Can I choose to have double majors, and when to do so?
There is not really a concept of “majors” in the Masters Programmes. You may like to think about your Programme as your “major” (for example, if you’re from Master of Accounting, then your “major” is Accounting, although, again, we refer to this as your “Programme”). You can only belong to one Programme and there are hence no “double majors”.
- When and how do I add / drop my courses?
There is an add-drop period for each module, which is usually the first week and the week before the start of that particular module (the duration is therefore around 2 weeks). You may do so in the Course Selection System by yourself. Please take note of the deadline of each add/drop period which will be announced by respective Programme Office. No requests will be entertained after the deadlines.
Teaching and Assessment Arrangements
- When will I receive the teaching schedules?
You will receive in the same email containing details about Master Registration (which you will likely receive in the week of 17 August 2020) information on orientation, teaching schedules, boot camp (if applicable), too.
- What is the plan between 1 and 10 September before the orientation? Is there any live-streaming during this period? If so, what is it about and when will the schedule be released?
There are no official classes/ events before the orientation of each Programme. You may access this site and the HKU Portal (after completing the Master Registration) for necessary information and online resources provided by the University.
- What are the teaching arrangements like for this coming semester?
HKU announced in late July 2020 the following:
- 1-21 September 2020: All courses, apart from a few exceptions requiring hands-on engagement, will be delivered online only.
- By 1 September 2020: The university will make an announcement outlining the teaching arrangements for the period from 22 September. It is hoped that some face-to-face teaching will be reinstated.
- Semester 1 (September to December) as a whole: All courses will be available online, apart from a few exceptions requiring hands-on engagement.
- For face-to-face classes, what are the measures to ensure students’ safety?
For everyone’s health and safety, the following precautionary measures will be put in place for all face-to-face classes:
All classrooms and public areas are also cleaned regularly.
- Self-declarations (regarding e.g., fulfillment of quarantine requirements)
- Body temperature checks for all students, teachers and teaching assistants upon entry to classrooms
- Availability of hand sanitizers and disinfection spray in classrooms
- Usage of larger venues, allowing seating distancing between students.
- What software will the outline classes be conducted on?
All online classes are streamed through Zoom, unless otherwise stated. HKU students also have access to the HKUVPN (HKU Virtual Private Network), which is a channel for accessing the campus network when students are outside the University network. It supports a secure connection for them to access the IT systems and electronic resources in the same way as if they are within the campus network.
- Will there be any recordings of online classes for review after classes?
While all course sessions will be live-streamed, not all of them will be recorded due to reasons such as copyrights. Please check with your instructors and/or teaching assistants for the arrangements of each course. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to attend classes following the teaching schedules and specific timetables.
- If only few students register for having online classes for a course, will online classes still be available?
As detailed in Q3 of this section, all classes in Semester 1 (September to December) will be available online, regardless of the number of students indicating a preference for the online mode.
- If I choose online courses at first, can I change it into face-to-face later?
As much as feasible, students will be allowed to attend classes face-to-face, if such an option is available, upon announcements by the University and School, even when they previously indicated a wish to attend classes online. Should students wish to make such a change, they should inform the Programme Office well before the class.
- Will the examination be held online? Will there be any differences in the examinations for students who attend online and those that attend face-to-face classes?
Different assessment modes are adopted for different courses. Should examinations be deemed appropriate and adopted, they will be administered online for all students enrolled in that course, using the same examination paper.
- What kind of assessment choices are available? How do they differ? When and how do I indicate my choices?
We are offering all students three assessment choices for courses in Semester 1 (September to December 2020):
1) Letter grade
3) Late drop
Your Programme Office will notify you when you need to submit your assessment choices. The deadlines indicated on the notice will be final, and no modifications will be permitted once it has passed.
We strongly advise all students to think carefully when opting for pass/fail grading. Courses that are simply passed will be recorded as “P” on the transcript, with no impact on the GPA calculation. This could have important knock-on effects. For example, internally, we rely on GPA data and the number of courses the GPA is calculated based on in granting scholarships, recommending students for honours such as the Dean’s Lists, Distinction etc. Externally, employers and universities around the world examine transcripts in some detail when making decisions about jobs and postgraduate studies. Students without solid GPA data from Semester 1, 2020-21 may therefore place themselves at a significant disadvantage. Please consult your teachers, your family and your friends before submitting your assessment choices.
However, on your Graduation Certificate, there will be no indications of the assessment choices chosen.
Degree Completion and Graduation
- Can I finish all courses in the first few modules (say, within the first 5 modules when there are 6 modules in my Programme)? Can I apply for early graduation if I do?
Yes, you may, although for most Programmes, the last module is a capstone project which is a core course. Upon completing all graduation requirements before the end of the last module, you may apply for early graduation by notifying your Programme Office, which will complete the graduation procedures for you, and you may then apply for the Certificate of Graduation (CoG) from the Registry as a proof that you have completed the degree. However, the official Conferment of Degree and Congregation (Graduation Ceremony) only take place once a year, in November.
- Will our graduation be postponed under the current situation?
As in previous years, all classes this academic year will finish in either June or July, 2021, with no postponement. As of August 2020, the University has made no plans to postpone the Graduation Ceremony (officially called “Congregation”), which usually takes place in November.
- When is the official end date of our studies, and when will the Certificates be delivered to us?
While all classes will finish in either June or July, 2021, depending on the curriculum of each Programme, the official graduation date for all masters is November 2021. Degrees will be conferred on all eligible Graduands during the Faculty-based Congregation Sessions in November 2021, including those who are in absentia. Graduation Certificates will be available after the Congregation. Details will be available nearer the time.
- If I fail to finish all credits required for graduation within a year, can I extend my studies?
If you haven’t fulfilled all graduation requirements within a year, you may apply for an extension of study into the second year, in order to complete the remaining requirements. The extension of study is subject to the approval by the designated committee, and is not automatically granted. You should therefore try to complete all graduation requirements within one year.
- I heard that the Authentication of Foreign Certificates (for Mainland students) process requires the student to have completed the studies face-to-face. In case I have to take some courses online, what should I do?
The authority has announced that the authentication is still possible even when some courses are taken online.
- How are Career Development and Training services provided under the pandemic?
The delivery modes of our events and services will be in line with the university policies. For example, by 21 September 2020, all events will be conducted online.
It is likely that many services (e.g., one-on-one consultations) can be accessed online throughout the year. When the university announces that physical events may be resumed, we will consider adding a face-to-face option, subject to event nature and preferences of trainers/ guests.
You can access the Career Portal from 1 September 2020 onward, once you have successfully completed the Master Registration and gained access to the HKU Portal.
Career support information will be provided at the orientation. Please also stay tuned for our announcements through email from 1 September 2020 onward.
- When will recruitment events of companies take place?
Companies invite applications at different times of the year, and deadlines of most structured graduate programmes tend to fall in October to December every year. Due to COVID-19, recruitment timelines of many companies have been slightly postponed, compared to their usual schedules. The exact dates of the events (e.g., recruitment talks) would depend on the COVID-19 situation then as well as hiring needs of the companies. Employers normally would allow enough time for universities to host the events, and for students to get to know the company and submit their applications. All career events, including recruitment talks, will be announced through email as well as on the “Event” page of the Career Portal so do check both regularly and stay tuned.
- Internship arrangements
- Are most internships this year going to be virtual or face-to-face?
Many companies would allow/ require interns to work from home, depending on the COVID-19 situation then. However, some might still require interns to work from the office. This is subject to each company’s policy and you should therefore check with the employer’s HR team before accepting an internship offer.
- Can I take up an internship outside of Hong Kong?
Yes you may. If you are planning to work outside of Hong Kong, make sure that you comply with that country’s visa and work policies. Also, make sure that the time commitment of the internship does not clash with any of your classes. Make study your priority.
- When should I start applying for internships and work?
It much depends on your own preferences and study schedules. There are internship opportunities offered by different companies throughout the year. If you are a non-local student, please also refer to the immigration policies and duration limits as detailed in Q4 of this section.
- Are most internships this year going to be virtual or face-to-face?
- NOL (No Objection Letter) for non-local students
- Who need an NOL?
Students who need a student visa to stay in Hong Kong and hoping to engage in internships during their studies at HKU, and have indeed secured a job offer.
- When should students apply?
When you have secured an official job offer from an employer and have a contract issued as a proof. You need to have entered Hong Kong and activated both your student visa and NOL.
- When can non-local students take up internships?
From the first date of their first module/ boot camp, whichever is earlier, to the last date of their last module, both dates inclusive, and for a maximum of 4 months (which is usually understood as 17 weeks) only.
- Who need an NOL?
- Who can apply for the Immigration Arrangement for Non-local Graduates (IANG) and when should they apply?
Hong Kong SAR Government has implemented an immigration policy since 2009 for non-local graduates (those who have satisfied all graduation requirements of a fulltime programme of Bachelor’s level of above) to stay in Hong Kong without other conditions of stay (i.e., with or without a job offer upon application) for an initial 12 months. In order to be eligible for applying for the IANG, students must have activated their student visa and completed the degree.
Eligible non-local graduates must submit applications to the Immigration Department within six months after the date of their graduation (i.e., the date shown on their graduation certificates), as soon as their graduation procedures have been completed, and when they have obtained a Certificate of Graduate (CoG) from the university (usually 6 to 8 weeks after the end of the last module).
Non-local graduates who submit applications beyond six months of the date of their graduation are classified as returning non-local graduates, and must have a job offer upon application.