Three public universities in Singapore have suspended all student exchange programmes to Hong Kong.
This was after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel advisory to Hong Kong on Aug. 16, 2019, to “defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong, given current developments”.
The suspension of the exchange programmes affected more than 100 students from the three universities.
Those affected could miss a full semester of classes.
In response to media queries, NUS, NTU and SMU said they will assist students in not missing classes.
SMU will assist students to enrol in courses
A SMU spokesperson said 17 students were scheduled to depart for their exchange programmes in Hong Kong.
All 17 students have decided to continue with their academic term in Singapore, which began on Aug. 19, 2019.
According to the spokesperson, SMU will assist the affected students to enrol in courses that meet their curriculum requirements such that "their degree progression will not be affected".
The students will also receive assistance from the university regarding travel insurance claims and other concerns.
Six of the seven SMU students completing their internship programmes in Hong Kong have also returned to Singapore, while the remaining student is scheduled to return by the end of August.
SMU has been in contact with the student.
Full statement here:
SMU Statement – 21 Aug 2019
As of 17 August 2019, six out of seven SMU students who were in Hong Kong have completed their internship programmes and returned to Singapore. One remaining student is scheduled to return by the end of August. The University is in contact with this student.
As for the 17 students who were scheduled to begin their international exchange programmes in Hong Kong, SMU has withdrawn the students from their respective programmes, in accordance with the travel advisory from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and guidance from the Ministry of Education on 16 August.
The University has met with the affected students on 19 August 2019 to share the updates, address their concerns, and assist them with their travel insurance claims. All the students have decided to continue their academic term in Singapore (which began on 19 August 2019) and the University is assisting the students to enrol in courses that meet their curriculum requirements so that their degree progression will not be affected.
NUS to discuss individual study plans with students
According to a NUS spokesperson, there are 56 students affected by the suspension.
The spokesperson said the university is helping to facilitate the affected students to enrol in NUS modules in the current semester, and offering other study abroad options for the second semester in the current academic year.
NUS will also assist the students in seeking refunds for their airfares and accommodation fees.
Their home faculties are currently in discussion with the affected students regarding their individual study plans.
Full statement here:
The University places top priority on student safety and well-being. Following MFA’s travel advisory and guidance from the Ministry of Education on 16 August 2019, NUS has cancelled the Student Exchange Programme to Hong Kong for Semester 1 of the current academic year. The 56 students affected by the cancellation have been informed. We are helping to facilitate in their enrolment into NUS modules for the current semester, and offering other study abroad options in Semester 2. The University is also assisting these students to seek refunds for their airfare and accommodation fees. The home faculties and schools of the affected students are in discussion with them on their individual study plans.
We will monitor the situation closely and review our plans for the Student Exchange Programme in Hong Kong for Semester 2.
NTU to arrange one-on-one consultations with affected students
NTU's spokesperson said the 41 students affected by the suspension will receive assistance as they resume their semester of study in the university.
According to the spokesperson, NTU will arrange one-on-one consultations with the affected students to address their concerns, including insurance claims.
The university will also assist the affected students to secure spots for exchange programmes in subsequent semesters.
Full statement here:
Due to concerns for the safety and well-being of our students, NTU is suspending all exchange programmes and trips to Hong Kong with immediate effect until further notice. The decision was taken in view of the latest MFA travel advisory on 16 Aug 2019 to defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong, and MOE’s guidance on the same day to postpone all student trips to Hong Kong. The various schools at NTU will assist the 41 affected students to resume their semester of study here. NTU will also assist students to secure exchange spots for subsequent semesters. NTU will also arrange one-to-one consultations with the students to address their concerns, including advice on insurance claims.
Cover photo via NUS, NTU, SMU