A woman and her dog walks past the UBC sign at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VIDEO: UBC exchange students offered $1,000 to help with leaving Hong Kong

The university said 31 of its students were attending four universities in Hong Kong

The University of British Columbia said it has cancelled its second term for exchange students in Hong Kong while it ensures the remainder of its students in the protest-racked region can get out.

The university said 31 of its students were attending four universities in Hong Kong, where protests have grown increasingly violent, and now 20 of them have left the area.

Vice-president for student affairs Ainsley Carry said the remaining 11 students are safe and accounted for with six having firm departure plans, two working on travel plans and three staying in the area with family.

The students are being offered $1,000 in emergency funds to help them in their travels and the university said 27 of them have accepted the cash.

“We are working with our partner institutions and universities in Hong Kong to determine if our students can complete their term from a distance, to ensure that they receive the academic credit that they have worked so hard for,” Carry said.

The majority of the students on exchange in Hong Kong this term had not planned to remain there in the second term, said Laurinda Tracey, UBC’s advisor for student safety abroad.

The university said it will work with students affected by the cancellation of the second exchange term to provide options that will include switching to another university or deferring or withdrawing from their exchange.

Last week, Hong Kong Polytechnic University became the latest battle ground in protests that began peacefully in June before turning violent with clashes between police and protesters. Police blockaded the university after hundreds of students occupied the campus.

UBC does not have a partnership with Hong Kong Polytechnic and it’s not one of the universities that was hosting UBC students in Hong Kong, Tracey said.

The universities that UBC is partnered with have gone “above and beyond” to support UBC students, including helping to arrange for short-term accommodation, Tracey added.

“We’ll keep that in mind, and we’ll continue to monitor and just keep an eye out for when things become safe again for students to resume activity,” she said.

UBC does not have any information about what events its students may or may not have been participating in, Carry said.

Protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory were sparked by a proposed bill that would have allowed certain criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China to face charges, a move that opponents viewed as a blow to Hong Kong’s legal independence.

The bill has been suspended, but the protests have grown to include demands such as universal suffrage when electing Hong Kong’s leaders, amnesty for protesters who have been arrested and an independent investigation into the use of force by Hong Kong police.

READ MORE: Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino and Ucluelet’s Top 10 sports and arts stories of 2019

Revisiting the Coast’s best sports and arts newsmakers of the past year.

Rent-It Centre takes over curbside collection contract in Tofino and Ucluelet

Rent It Centre’s bid was $25,865 lower than the only other bidder, SonBird Refuse and Recycling.

Tofino’s first cannabis dispensary opens

“I don’t know where it’s going, but happy how it’s gone so far.”

Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town

West Coast has not had a full-time vet since Dr. Jane Hunt surrendered her licence in 2004.

Looking back on the West Coast’s top 10 news stories

Tofino and Ucluelet’s top headlines of 2019.

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read