University Announcement: Student Hostel Development 學生宿舍進展
Student Hostel Development
Dear students, staff and alumni,
We would like to update the CityU community about the latest development concerning student hostels at CityU.
Disappointingly, the Government has decided that CityU must share the Tat Hong Avenue site, which is adjacent to our existing student hostel buildings, with Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) for student hostel development, despite our proposal for an alternative arrangement that would benefit CityU, PolyU and ultimately Hong Kong. However, the Government finally decided to follow their original plan that the hostel site at Tat Hong Avenue must be shared between CityU and around 1,680 PolyU students.
As background, CityU accepted the Whitehead site in Ma On Shan in 2009 for the further development of our student hostels because we had been told that no other site near the CityU campus in Kowloon Tong would be available. Although we have undertaken preparatory work for the hostels at the Whitehead site, we have not started construction because the relevant funding has not yet been obtained from the Government.
We later learnt that a site at Tat Hong Avenue had become available. This new site, so close to the CityU campus, can resolve fully our hostel shortfall in one location rather than two, while the Whitehead site can readily accommodate PolyU’s hostel shortfall. In terms of capital and long-term management, it is substantially more beneficial for both universities to cluster their hostels. For CityU, we will now have to build hostels at two different sites, which will cause management challenges and costs (e.g. providing additional amenities and facilities at the off-campus hostels). Furthermore, we believe the risk of critical incidents related to hostel and campus safety and potential unrest with the shared site cannot be underestimated.
We have requested that the Government facilitate a swap between CityU and PolyU so that we can use the entire Tat Hong Avenue site and PolyU can make use of the Whitehead site. The Students’ Union also conducted a survey and wrote to the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in support of this proposal. CityU has conveyed our serious reservations to the UGC and the Government about sharing the site, and we remain baffled by the Government’s decision.
The situation now is that unless we agree to accept the land allocation as currently set out, i.e. sharing the Tat Hong Avenue site with PolyU and using the Whitehead site for fulfilling our shortfall of hostel places, and sign the Hostel Development Fund (HDF) service agreement by the end of March 2019, CityU will no longer be entitled to the HDF. Given this situation, CityU has no alternative but to sign the agreement.
CityU sincerely hopes that the Government might reconsider our student hostel land-swap proposal with PolyU. We strongly believe that our proposal makes economic and logistical sense. We have asked that should certain measures for traffic control, crowd and space management, for example, or any other additional resources prove necessary for managing safety at the joint hostel site, the Government will render support to both CityU and PolyU.
Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs)
Mr Sunny Lee Wai-kwong, Vice- President (Administration)