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Friday, June 9, 2023

Academics & Research

HRM joint program won’t be going to Hong Kong

The 16-month master's program spends time at three different campuses on three different continents, including UH. | File photo

The 16-month master’s program spends time at three different campuses on three different continents, including UH and Hong Kong. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

A joint hospitality master’s program, which is held partly at the University and in Switzerland, will not be going to Hong Kong next semester. 

The 16-month program spends time at three different campuses on three different continents, including UH. The decision to not send students to Hong Kong comes amid the violent protests occurring at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

“We are looking at alternatives and that students of this tripartite program would not be coming to Hong Kong as originally planned,” said Polytechnic University Senior Marketing Manager Pauline Ngan in a statement. “Our top priority is the safety, security and well-being of our students.”

Around 50 anti-government protesters are barricaded inside the university in Hong Kong, according to CBS News. Police in Hong Kong a few weeks ago tried to storm into the university but were met with violence and will not try again. 

The partnership program began in 2015 with 28 students, according to a UH news release.

Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management master’s in global hospitality business is a joint program between UH, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

No UH students are in the program currently or will be next semester, said University spokesman Chris Stipes. The program does send UH students but not necessarily every semester. 

Students spend the fall semester in Switzerland, go to Hong Kong in the spring and then finish out at the University. 

The University will not be sending students to Hong Kong for any of its study abroad programs for the foreseeable future, Stipes said.  

Dean of the Hilton College Dennis Reynolds said in a statement Hong Kong Polytechnic University is a valued partner for the college in its study abroad and master’s programs. 

“We are terribly saddened to see the violence unfolding in Hong Kong, specifically at Hong Kong Polytechnic University,” Reynolds said in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues and the people of Hong Kong during this difficult time.”

Many universities in the U.S. are canceling their study abroad programs in Hong Kong due to the protests, which are now in their sixth month. 

The protests began over a law that would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China, but they are now over issues ranging from democratic reform to police brutality, according to BBC News.

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