For Immediate Release
Issue Date: 16 October 2020
HK’s Efficient COVID-19 Preventive Arrangements Facilitate Arrivals of 129 Overseas Students from 86 Countries at LPCUWC
As College Year 2020/2021 was approaching, there was one daunting challenge to Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong: to bring its overseas students of over a hundred from 86 countries to Hong Kong.
In the middle of August, the first batch of 22 second-year students arrived. Days later, the numbers increased. To date, there are 129 overseas students who are back on campus, joining local students in face-to-face classes under the IB Diploma Programme.
Two overseas students are currently completing their quarantine, while three are still in search of flights due to travel restrictions in their respective countries. All are supported with blended learning that includes synchronous and asynchronous classroom activities with students who are taking classes face-to-face.
“We were optimistic that we would have our overseas students joining us in Hong Kong, but we kept our estimates at a conservative. The result is just remarkable. It truly exceeded our expectations. This demonstrates tenacity and resilience on the part of our students and their parents, strong teamwork among staff, students and alumni, and a high regard for Hong Kong’s management of the pandemic,” Arnett Edwards, College Principal said.
The presence of overseas students in LPCUWC is a strong feature of UWC. They enrich discussions, broaden perspectives, and reinforce the value of diversity in achieving a holistic campus experience.
A full-service residential school, LPCUWC acknowledges the efficiency of information dissemination on the centralised website on COVID-19 of the Centre for Health Protection and the arrangements for deep-throat testing for arriving passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport. As word was shared among their peers, this bolstered the confidence of overseas students to travel to Hong Kong.
“Travelling to Hong Kong seemed intimidating as a first-time international student, but from the moment I landed, there were people guiding me through immigration processes and showed me how to do my deep throat COVID-19 test,” first-year student Manaal Abbas from Pakistan shared.
All overseas students who are now on campus have completed the government’s compulsory 14-day quarantine at a hotel that LPCUWC arranged in advance.
Manaal recalled how her two weeks of quarantine “flew by very fast”. LPCUWC appointed a Student Support Team dedicated to attending to the needs of arriving overseas students and developing a fun and enriching lineup of activities while the students were in quarantine.
Classes have started on 24 August and 7 September for second-year and first-year students, respectively, and were administered online. Transition to face-to-face classes comes after the recent EDB’s announcement on resumption face-to-face learning. Local students’ settling in on campus starting 20 September was also scheduled after the same EDB announcement. Similar to the requirement on overseas students, local students were asked to submit a negative COVID-19 test result.
Around 45% of the student population in the College are from Hong Kong. Close to 60% of the total number enjoy some type of need-based scholarship, including three full scholarships for students from Israel, Lebanon and Slovakia that have been sourced from income from the College’s solar power system project.
To date, there is no staff or student in the College who has been reported to have been infected with the virus. ###