25 August 2019
Lester Shum (second from right) and Alex Chow (extreme right) have put off some studies due to their involvement in the Occupy movement. Photo: CNSA
Lester Shum (second from right) and Alex Chow (extreme right) have put off some studies due to their involvement in the Occupy movement. Photo: CNSA

HKFS leaders win university nod for studies deferment

Student leaders Alex Chow and Lester Shum, who have been busy with the Occupy movement since late September, have been allowed to defer their university studies for a semester, according to Ming Pao Daily. 

Chow is the secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) while Shum is its deputy secretary-general. HKFS has been at the forefront of the pro-democracy protests that have rocked the city for eight weeks now.

While Chow and Shum are taking a break, fellow activist Yvonne Leung is continuing her studies despite playing a key a role in organizing the Occupy protests, the report said.

According to Chow, many HKFS committee members were pursuing their studies as well as participating actively in the student activities. Some members were seen reading up their study materials while having meetings, or busy writing dissertations before and after meetings, he said.

Taurus Yip Kwan-kit, acting chairperson of the current affairs committee of the Hong Kong University students union, admitted that involvement the Occupy protests has had some impact on his studies. He says his grade point average (GPA) could fall in the current term.

However, Yip said he was able to sometimes concentrate better on course work while staying at the protest site in Admiralty. If he was at the university dormitory, there could be many distractions, he said.

The university has shown an accommodating stance toward the students, Yip said, noting that authorities had recently approved an application from a students’ union executive to drop two subjects this semester.

HKU’s registrar Henry Wai said it is necessary to obtain approvals from the Deans for dropping of subjects. If a student is denied permission to drop a subject and fails the course, he or she will have to retake that particular subject. The results of both examinations will be taken into account in the student’s overall results.

Tommy Cheung, president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s students’ union, said he scored 16.5 points out of 20 in the mid-term examination, which was even better than what he achieved in the previous semester, despite spending half of the past two months at the Admiralty protest site.

Cheung was given the green light to drop two subjects, out of the six he originally signed up for, due to his participation in the Occupy campaign.

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