Leave of Absence

Students intending not to register for any courses in a semester because of health problems or other personal reasons, but who will subsequently continue their studies, may apply for a leave of absence to be away from their studies temporarily while maintaining a valid enrolment status with the University.

According to the Academic Regulations for Master's Degrees, the period of leave of absence taken will be counted in the calculation of the student’s maximum period of study. Those who cannot complete all programme requirements for graduation within the maximum study period will be required to discontinue their studies. Students should check their Last Term to Complete Graduation Requirements via the Student Record menu in AIMS and make sure that there is sufficient time to complete all their programme requirements before applying for leave of absence.

How to Apply

Students applying for leave of absence should submit an online application via AIMS:

  1. Login to AIMS with your EID and password.
  2. Select the Student Record menu.
  3. Click My Applications [for Undergraduate and Master's (Taught Postgraduate) Programmes].
  4. Select Leave of Absence.
  5. Read the Notes to Students to make sure you understand the implications for your studies when applying for leave of absence.
  6. Fill in the required fields in the form.
  7. Submit your application and upload the documentary proof (if any). If you are unable to upload the documentary proof when you make the application, you may upload it later within 4 calendar days after your submission of the application.
  8. An email will be sent to you to acknowledge receipt of your application.

Each application can cover at most one academic year at a time. Students who wish to take leave of absence for more than one academic year must make another application again before the end of the leave period.

Approval for Leave of Absence

Periods of approved absence may not be less than one full semester/term and normally may not accumulate to more than four semesters. Each application for leave of absence will be considered and requires approval of the Head of the home academic unit. Students should apply for a leave of absence no later than the end of the course add/drop period.  Applications submitted after the end of the teaching period for the semester will not be considered.

The application results can be viewed via AIMS once the decision has been made. Students will also receive an e-mail about the application results and the arrangements related to their studies.  

Fees Chargeable for Approved Leave of Absence

For applications for leave of absence that are submitted up to the end of Week 2, students are required to pay a continuation fee of HK$1,500 for each semester in order to maintain an active enrolment status at the University if their applications are approved. Students can still use university facilities and enjoy library and computer privileges during the period of leave of absence.

If the submission date of the application is from Week 3 till the end of Week 6# in Semester A/B (or the end of Week 3# in Summer Term), the student will be liable for 50% of the tuition fee payable for that semester/term, or the minimum tuition for two credit units (for programmes charged on a per credit unit basis), whichever is higher.

If the submission date of the application is in Week 7# and afterwards in Semester A/B (or Week 4# and afterwards in Summer Term), the student will be liable for 100% of the tuition fee payable for that semester/term, or the minimum tuition for two credit units (for programmes charged on a per credit unit basis), whichever is higher.

# Sunday is the first day of the week. Click here for the Academic Calendar.

Students studying in programmes that do not follow the University Academic Calendar should follow the timelines and regulations specified by the respective programmes.

Students should check their account summary directly in AIMS  after their leave of absence is approved and settle the outstanding fees before the due date. Failure to do so will lead to the immediate termination of the student status and the student will be required to pay the outstanding amount when applying for admission to the University in future.

Click here to read the Regulations on Tuition Fees in detail.

Informing the SFAA

If you are an applicant of the Local Student Finance Scheme and/or Non-means-tested Loan Scheme in the current academic year, you should notify the Student Financial Assistance Agency (SFAA) about your leave of absence in writing immediately. The SFAA will review your application and adjust your entitlement of financial assistance, if appropriate. In the event that there is overpayment of financial assistance, you are required to refund the amount overpaid immediately upon demand.

Resumption of Studies

Upon resumption of studies, students will be required to pay the prevailing programme tuition fees.  Special course attendance or assessment arrangements may be required if there are changes to the structure of the programme during the period of leave of absence. On occasions where the programme is to be phased out, courses may no longer be offered and resumption of studies in the same programme will not be possible.