Message from Provost, Deans, Director of Interdisciplinary Programs Office and Director of Student Affairs to Research Postgraduate Students Regarding Housing Support
As many of you are aware, the demand for on-campus housing has been high over the years. The University administration understands the desirability of on-campus housing for research postgraduate (RPg) students, so we are currently providing on-campus housing for close to 70% of 1,300 RPg students. The rest have had to make off-campus living arrangements.
But with the University committing to make available on-campus housing to all RPg students in the first two years of their studies under the new housing policy in the coming academic year, we must face the reality that more RPg students in their third year and beyond will need to move off-campus.
We understand the concerns many of you may have regarding this housing policy, and especially from those who are not going to get an on-campus housing offer in the coming year. To try toaddress these concerns, a number of School-based forums were held last week to help students understand the situation, and to listen to student advice on how to improve this situation.
We are very appreciative of your constructive suggestions.
With a view to ease some of the strains students may have in making their off-campus living arrangements, please be informed that the following measures will be adopted:
1. We do appreciate that those who have to arrange their own housing off-campus will need to incur higher expenses. Therefore, we will ensure that all those who are in the third year and beyond of their RPg studies be provided with 12-month postgraduate studentship.
2. Subject to compliance with safety standards and feasibility of the work schedule, we plan to convert a number of the 4-person University Apartments to 6-person units by doubling up the single rooms to bunk-bedrooms, so as to provide about 50 bed spaces. Since this may cause inconvenience to some of you, we ask for your understanding.
3. For those who have hardship in the transition from living on-campus to off-campus such as difficulty in cash flow, the University will offer interest-free loans to help them meet with expenses in rental deposit and agency fee. Details of the scheme will be announced by SAO very shortly.
4. To help students search for off-campus housing, Schools will strengthen university-wide networks to share information and knowledge about home search and the market situation. The Student Housing Office will also enhance the off-campus housing service and continuously update the website so as to keep abreast of the latest situation.
5. Further assistance is now being planned for those who need late night transportation. In particular, for the coming year, the University shall arrange additional shuttle bus se...