HKU 'homeless' students to get HK$2,000

Monthly rent subsidy for non-locals to make up for delay in completing new halls of residence

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 August, 2012, 3:19am

Hundreds of non-local students at the University of Hong Kong will receive a rent subsidy of HK$2,000 a month to offset the cost of living off-campus because of a construction delay at its halls of residence.

Two of the four blocks in the HKU compound in Lung Wah Street, Kennedy Town, with a capacity of 1,800, would be ready by the start of the semester on September 17, so 970 students can move in.

But 830 of the new hostel places may not be completed until as late as October, so non-local students must stay in youth hostels in Chai Wan, or in private residential buildings in Western and Yau Ma Tei until then. HKU is making arrangements with landlords to fill the gap.

Some local students would initially have to stay at home, head of student affairs, Albert Chau, said.

Currently, HKU has 4,000 hostel places. The new halls of residence were aimed at alleviating the long-term accommodation shortage, which usually saw half of those who applied failing to secure a place.

HKU deputy vice chancellor and provost, Roland Chin, said the construction delay was only one of the "hiccups", as the campus prepared to receive a record number of new students next month.

The increased intake is the result of graduates from the A-levels and the first Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examinations this year.

Meanwhile, HKU vice-president on infrastructure, Graham Malpas, said results of legionella bacteria tests at the Centennial Campus were expected in a few days. Disinfection had been carried out after reports revealed that the bacteria had been found in some of the facilities recently.

The results of formaldehyde tests done since June had been satisfactory, he said.