Dear colleagues and students

I’m writing to inform you about our teaching arrangements for the Summer Semester and Academic Year 2020-21. Our core aim is to make a gradual and partial return to face-to-face (f2f) teaching. To do that, we will have to observe detailed health and safety protocols covering the entire campus, which will be announced well in advance. This email only addresses scheduling issues.

Parameters
The broad parameters we will observe for teaching are listed below. Where circumstances allow, there may be variation within individual programmes.

  • Small-group classes (up to 25 students) will be scheduled as normal.
  • Lectures will be scheduled in classrooms that can accommodate at least twice as many students as are in the class. Thus, a lecture with 60 students will be scheduled in a classroom that can accommodate at least 120 students.
  • For TPG courses, our available teaching rooms will enable us to deliver f2f lectures for most classes of up to 90 students.
  • For UG programme courses, our available teaching rooms will enable us to deliver f2f lectures for almost all classes of up to 90 students.
  • For UG Common Core courses, our available teaching rooms will enable us to deliver f2f lectures for roughly half of our courses with 120 students.
  • The Grand Hall will enable us to schedule a small number of large lectures (up to 300 students) for TPG and UG students.
  • However, most courses with more than 90 students will deliver their lectures online.

Summer Semester
Building on these parameters, we will make a gradual return to f2f teaching for the Summer Semester. We will also offer a small number of online UG courses for students who would like to pick up some credits but will not be in HK.

Academic Year 2020-21
In 2020-21, we will continue with partial f2f teaching:

  • TPG programmes
    Small-group classes of up to 25 students: f2f
    Most lecture classes of up to 90 students: f2f
    Other lecture classes: online (apart from a small number in the Grand Hall)
  • UG programmes
    Small-group classes of up to 25 students: f2f
    Almost all lecture classes of up to 90 students: f2f
    Other lecture classes: online (apart from a small number in the Grand Hall)
  • UG: Common Core
    Small-group classes of up to 25 students: f2f
    Lecture classes of up to 120 students: roughly half f2f, roughly half online
    Mega classes of up to 288 students: just a few f2f in the Grand Hall
  • All TPG and UG courses
    For the first three weeks of S1, we will cater for the needs of TPG and UG students who are unable to come to campus because of visa, quarantine and other issues. Mostly this will be done by making course materials available both f2f and online for that period.

Technical support
As there will continue to be a significant element of online teaching in the months ahead, we are actively enhancing our technical support for both teachers and students.

With so many aspects of the future uncertain, we can’t be sure everything will unfold exactly as planned. As of now, though, this is how things look. Should there be any changes, we will inform you as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please do drop me a line with any queries (ian.holliday@hku.hk).

Best wishes for the summer – Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
VP/T&L