General Regulations

Regulations described in this section apply to all students. Specific regulations for undergraduate or postgraduate students are found in the respective sections.

1. Student Conduct
2. Regulations for Student Discipline
3. Regulations Governing Student Academic Discipline
4. Examination Regulations for Students
5. Intellectual Property Rights
6. Use of Human or Animal Subjects
7. Variance from Regulation

 

1. Student Conduct

The University expects good conduct from all students. Rules and regulations are formulated and enforced to ensure the effective operation of the University, and the well-being of students and staff.

2. Regulations for Student Discipline

2.1

The University may take disciplinary action against a student of the University who violates any rules or regulations and/or commits any misconduct such as:

a) defamation of or assault on or battery against the person of any member of the University, including conduct which leads to the physical or emotional injury or which threatens the physical or emotional well-being of any member of the University;
b) theft, fraud, misapplication of University funds or property of any kind;
c) falsification or serious misuse of University documents or records;
d) misrepresentations or false statements made in any application or document submitted to the University;
e) wilful damage to or defacement of any property of the University;
f) plagiarism in written assignments or cheating in tests or examinations;
g) an offense in connection with examinations or violation of any of the regulations governing conduct at examinations;
h) refusal to comply with any regulations or orders by authorized persons and bodies prohibiting any conduct which disrupts teaching, study, research or administration of the University.
   
2.2 Complaints against the academic conduct of a student should be brought to the Student Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the Regulations Governing Student Academic Discipline.  Other complaints against a student will be brought before this Committee by either the Provost, or the Vice-President for Administration and Business.  The Committee shall investigate and make findings upon them.
   
2.3

For students found guilty of an academic offense, the Committee shall impose upon them an “F” grade together with a notation of academic dishonesty on their transcript plus any other sanctions specified in the Regulations on Student Academic Discipline that it deems appropriate.  For other offenses, the Committee may order the imposition upon any student found to be guilty of any of the offenses specified in 2.1, any of the following penalties:

a) reprimand;
b) fine (not exceeding five thousand Hong Kong dollars);
c) University community service;
d) withdrawal of any academic or other University privileges, benefits, rights or facilities, other than the right to follow courses of instruction and present himself or herself at examinations;
e) suspension of all academic or other privileges, benefits, rights or facilities; or
f) expulsion from the University;

and where applicable may require such student to make good any damage to property or premises caused by him/her.

   
2.4 The Committee, in addition to or as an alternative to imposing any of the penalties set out in 2.3, may report to the Council via the Senate the offense of which the student has been found guilty.  The Council may, if it thinks fit, recommend to the Chancellor the deprivation of any degree, diploma, certificate or other academic distinction conferred upon such person.
   
2.5 The student may submit an appeal to the President as the Chairman of the Senate against the verdict or the sanction(s) imposed by the Committee.  The appeal must be made in writing within fourteen days of receiving the decision and should state the grounds on which it is made, and include any relevant evidence or documentation not submitted previously.  Normally, appeals will be considered only on the grounds of procedural irregularity or new evidence.
   
2.6 If the President decides that there are grounds for appeal, the President will appoint an independent Appeals Committee to decide on the appeal.  Otherwise, the appeal will be dismissed.  The Appeals Committee will then investigate, conduct a hearing if necessary, and make findings upon the appeal.  The student may invite a member of his family (parents, spouse or siblings) or a friend who is a member of the university community to accompany him to attend the hearing.  The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final.
   
2.7 The Committee will from time to time prepare a summary of cases, including for each case the charge and the decision but excluding student names, and disseminate it to members of the university community as appropriate.
   

3. Regulations Governing Student Academic Discipline

3.1 Academic Integrity
 

Academic integrity is basic to the work of all students at the University, and to scholarly and scientific work generally.  Central to academic integrity is the presentation of one’s own work as one’s own, the acknowledgement of others’ work, and the truthful reporting of results obtained.

Students are required to act truthfully and honestly in their academic pursuit, and acquaint themselves with the University’s policy on academic integrity and discipline.  It is the policy of the University that there should be zero tolerance for academic dishonesty.  Students who are found to have violated the principle of academic integrity will be subject to academic disciplinary actions.  The University Administration will regularly issue to members of the university community information about the action taken on individual academic disciplinary cases.

   
3.2

Academic Dishonesty

 

There are a number of ways in which the tenets of academic integrity may be violated.  The offenses stated below are by no means exhaustive and the determination of academic dishonesty is based on the broader context of the students’ possible intent to mislead an instructor or the University as to their academic achievement, status, or qualifications. “Students” as used here includes currently registered students as well as those who have graduated or left the University.

Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of work which actually originates from other sources as one’s own, for credit in a course or program of study or towards the fulfillment of degree requirements.  It includes the presentation in theses, examinations, tests, term papers, and other assignments, of someone else’s work without attribution, including the presentation of someone else’s argument in one’s own words without acknowledgement.

Cheating is defined as the unauthorized giving, receiving or utilizing, or any attempt to do so, of information or assistance during a test or examination. Also included are:

a) the unauthorized receipt or conveyance, or the attempt to do so, of test or examination questions;
b) giving or receiving assistance on an essay or assignment beyond what is approved by the instructor;
c) impersonating someone else or causing or allowing oneself to be impersonated by someone else in writing or participating in a test or examination;
d) the submission of any academic work containing a purported statement of fact, or reference to a source, which has been concocted;
e) presenting for credit in any course or program of study, without the permission of the instructor concerned, academic work for which credit has previously been obtained or is being sought in another course or program of study in the University or elsewhere; and
f) any other conduct designed to provide a misleading basis for judgment of the student’s performance or academic standing.
   
3.3 Sanctions
 
a) The following sanctions may be imposed, singly or in combination:
i) Verbal or written reprimand, which serves as a warning to the student that he has violated the university’s requirement for academic honesty, and that further similar acts will lead to more severe penalty.  Written reprimands will be retained in the student’s personal file (kept at the Academic Records and Registration Office (ARRO)) until graduation;
ii) A make-up assignment or test; a lower or failure grade for the assignment or test; a reduction of the final grade; or failure in the course;
iii) University community service;
iv) Withdrawal of eligibility for future scholarships and other academic awards;
v) Ineligibility for honors upon graduation;
vi) Suspension from the University for a set or indefinite period.  Students on suspension shall lose the right to follow courses of instruction and present themselves at examination.  Courses taken elsewhere during the suspension period cannot be used to count towards the HKUST degree;
vii) Cancellation of academic standing or academic credits obtained thus far;
vii) Withholding or rescinding an HKUST degree;
ix) Any other sanctions, as deemed appropriate for certain offenses.

In addition, the student’s transcript will carry a notation of academic dishonesty, whether the course is passed or failed.
   
b) The notation will be removed upon graduation provided that the student does not commit more than one offense.
   
c) If a student commits two or more offenses, the student will be dismissed from the University.  The notation will appear on the official transcript.
   
d) Information about the charge and action taken on individual cases will be disseminated, without mentioning the student names, by the Student Disciplinary Committee to members of the university community.
   
3.4 Disciplinary Procedures in Case of Academic Dishonesty
 
(I) Procedures for dealing with student academic dishonesty cases found in final examinations
a) When an invigilator has reasons to believe that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty at the final examination, he should follow the disciplinary procedures as set out below and inform the student that he will be charged for academic dishonesty.
b) If the student admits the charge on the spot, he should be asked to stop writing the examination and leave the examination room.  The invigilator will inform the student that the course department will follow up the case after the examination and decide on the sanction to be imposed.  The invigilator should note the incident on the Report on Student Academic Misconduct, including any evidence on the act of academic dishonesty collected, and forward the Report to the course department for follow-up after the examination.  After the examination, the department head or a faculty member designated by him should meet with the student to decide on the sanction to be imposed.
c) If the student denies the charge on the spot, the invigilator will draw a line on the examination script to indicate the point when the act of academic dishonesty is found and allow him to continue writing the examination till the end.  After the examination, the invigilator forwards the Report on Student Academic Misconduct, including any evidence on the act of academic dishonesty collected, to the course department for action.  The department head or the faculty member designated by him will study the Report and arrange to meet with the student within two weeks’ time to investigate.  If, after the meeting, the department is satisfied that no act of academic dishonesty has been committed, the department should decide on a grade for the examination based on work written on the examination script.  If the student is found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty in the examination, the department will decide on the sanction.
d) For confirmed cases of academic dishonesty, an “F” grade together with a notation of academic dishonesty will appear on the student’s transcript.  When deemed appropriate, the department may also impose a verbal or written reprimand.  The student will be informed that the notation will be removed at graduation if he does not commit more than one offense.  However, if he commits two or more offenses, during the same term or in different terms, he shall be dismissed from the University and the notation will permanently be displayed on the official transcript.  Written reprimands will only be removed from the student’s personal file kept at ARRO upon graduation.  The department will send a report of the case, duly signed by the student concerned and including a summary of the case and the sanction imposed, to the Student Disciplinary Committee for record.
e) If the department wishes to impose more severe sanctions (such as university community service, withdrawal of eligibility for future scholarships and other academic awards, ineligibility for honors upon graduation; suspension from the University for a set or indefinite period; cancellation of academic standing or academic credits obtained thus far; or withholding or rescinding an HKUST degree), the case must be taken, via the School Dean and the Provost, to the Student Disciplinary Committee for decision.  These sanctions will be retained in the student’s personal file (kept at ARRO) until graduation.
f) Under the following circumstances, the department shall bring the case, via the School Dean and the Provost, to the Student Disciplinary Committee for investigation and decision:
i) The student denies the charge or fails to attend the meeting, and the department has a strong reason to believe that he has committed an act of academic dishonesty;
ii) The case is too serious in nature to be handled by the department;
iii) The case involves students who are not enrolled in the course;
iv) The case involves persons who are not members of the university community.
g) If the student is found guilty of an academic offense, the Committee will impose upon the student an “F” grade together with a notation of academic dishonesty on the transcript, plus any other sanctions that it deems appropriate.
h) The Student Disciplinary Committee will from time to time prepare a summary of each case, including the charge and the decision but excluding the student names, and disseminate it to members of the university community as appropriate.
   
(II) Procedures for dealing with student academic dishonesty cases found in assignments, quizzes or tests
a) If the instructor has reasons to believe that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty in an assignment, quiz or test, he should report the matter promptly, together with any relevant evidence, to the department head.  The department head, or a faculty member designated by him, should arrange a meeting with the student concerned to investigate.
b) After the meeting, if the department is satisfied that no act of academic dishonesty has been committed, no further action will be taken.
c) If the student admits the alleged offense, the department may impose the following sanction on the student, either singly or in combination as appropriate.
i) Verbal or written reprimand;
ii) A make-up assignment, quiz or test;
iii) A lower or failure grade for the assignment, quiz or test; or
iv) A reduction of the final grade or a failure in the course.
d) In deciding on the sanction, the department may take into account the nature and gravity of the offense, or the weighting of the assessment concerned.  For example if the assessment concerned, whether a mid-term examination, project, or other work, accounts for a percentage of the final grade that is comparable to the final examination, awarding a failure grade may be warranted.  The department may also make reference to precedent cases of similar nature.
e) To denote that the student has committed an academic offense in the course, a notation of academic dishonesty will be included on the student’s transcript disregard whether the course is passed or failed. The student will be informed that the notation will be removed at graduation if he does not commit more than one offense.  However, if he commits two or more offenses, during the same term or in different terms, he shall be dismissed from the University and the notation will appear on the official transcript.  Written reprimands will only be removed from the student’s personal file kept at ARRO upon graduation.
f) The department then sends a report of the case, duly signed by the students concerned and including a summary of the case and the sanction imposed, to the Student Disciplinary Committee for record.
g) If the department wishes to impose more severe or additional sanctions (such as university community service, withdrawal of eligibility for future scholarships and other academic awards, ineligibility for honors upon graduation; suspension from the University for a set period or indefinitely; cancellation of academic standing or academic credits obtained thus far; or withholding or rescinding an HKUST degree), the case must be taken to the Student Disciplinary Committee for decision via the School Dean and the Provost.  These sanctions will be retained in the student’s personal file (kept at ARRO) until graduation.
h) Under the following circumstances, the department should bring the case, via the School Dean and the Provost, to the Student Disciplinary Committee for investigation and decision:
i) The student denies the charge or fails to attend the meeting, and the department has a strong reason to believe that he has committed an act of academic dishonesty;
ii) The case is too serious in nature to be handled by the department;
iii) The case involves students who are not enrolled in the course;
iv) The case involves persons who are not members of the university community.
i) If the student is found guilty of an academic offense, the Committee will impose upon the student an “F” grade together with a notation of academic dishonesty on the transcript, plus any other sanctions that it deems appropriate.
j) The Student Disciplinary Committee will from time to time prepare a summary of each case, including the charge and the decision but excluding the student names, and disseminate it to members of the university community as appropriate.
   
   
3.5 Student Appeals
 
a) Students have the right to be informed that an academic offense is suspected, to defend themselves against the charges and present evidence, and to meet with the authority imposing a sanction for this latter purpose.  They should be informed of the verdict, the sanction, and the appeal procedures and should also be advised to approach the Director of Student Affairs for advice and guidance.
b) The student may submit an appeal against the verdict for the charge or the sanction(s) imposed.  The appeal must be made in writing within fourteen days of receiving the decision and should state the grounds on which it is made, and include any relevant evidence or documentation not submitted previously.  Normally, appeals will be considered only on the grounds of procedural irregularity or new evidence.
c) An appeal against a department’s decision should be submitted to the Provost who shall decide if there are grounds for appeal.  If the Provost decides that there are grounds for appeal, the appeal will be referred to the Student Disciplinary Committee for consideration and decision.  Otherwise, the appeal will be dismissed.  The Student Disciplinary Committee will then investigate, conduct a hearing if necessary, and make findings upon the appeal.  The student may invite a member of his family (parents, spouse or siblings) or a friend who is a member of the university community to accompany him to attend the hearing.  The decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee on the appeal shall be final.
d) If the decision on a case of student academic dishonesty was previously made by the Student Disciplinary Committee, the appeal should be submitted to the President as the Chairman of the Senate who shall decide if there are grounds for appeal.  If the President decides that there are grounds for appeal, the President will appoint an independent Appeals Committee to decide on the appeal.  Otherwise, the appeal will be dismissed.  The Appeals Committee will then investigate, conduct a hearing if necessary, and make findings upon the appeal.  The student may invite a member of his family (parents, spouse or siblings) or a friend who is a member of the university community to accompany him to attend the hearing.  The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final.
   

4. Examination Regulations for Students

4.1 Students are not allowed to sit for a course examination if their names are not on the class enrollment list of the specific course concerned, and they will not be awarded a grade for the course.
   
4.2 Examinees will be asked to show their student identity cards for verification purposes.  Students who are unable to present their cards will not be allowed to write the examination.
   
4.3 Examinees are not allowed to bring into or remove from the examination room any printed or written matter save with the express permission of an examiner or invigilator.  Unless expressly permitted by the examiner, no books, paper, calculators, or any information storage and retrieval device will be allowed.
   
4.4 Normally, no examinees will be allowed to enter the examination room thirty minutes after the start of the examination, and no examinees will be permitted to leave the examination room within the first thirty minutes of the examination.  An invigilator or examiner may waive this time limit under special circumstances, such as sickness.  Late comers will not be given any extra time for the examination.
   
4.5 Examinees who are taken ill during the examination and have to leave the examination room are advised to proceed immediately to the Student Health Services on campus, if possible, or seek other appropriate medical assistance as soon as possible.
   
4.6 Examinees should only write on their answer books or on any supplementary answer books and sheets provided for the purpose and shall surrender all such materials in good order on leaving the examination room.  Answers should be written on the right-hand page only, with the left-hand page used for rough work.  The examiners may read only the right-hand page material.
   
4.7 No conversation will be allowed during the examination and any questions must be addressed to an invigilator.  Any misconduct, such as casual conversation, any form of communication among examinees, or causing disturbance to other examinees, will be warned in the first instance.  On repetition of the misconduct, the examinee may be expelled from the examination room immediately and not be permitted to continue writing the examination, and a zero mark will be given for that examination.
   
4.8 Examinees may not be allowed to leave the examination room during the last fifteen minutes of the examination and must remain seated until the invigilator has collected all examination answer books.  Examinees must hand in all answer books and supplementary sheets, whether unused or used for draft work, before they leave the examination room.
   
4.9 Examinees who fail to attend a scheduled examination will be given zero mark for that examination.  Appeals for special consideration on the grounds of special circumstances such as medical reasons should be made to the Academic Records and Registration Office.
   
4.10
a) When the Amber or Red Rainstorm Warning or Typhoon Signal No. 1 or 3 is in effect, all scheduled examinations will be held as usual.
b) When a Typhoon Signal No. 8 is to be issued within 2 hours (pre-No. 8), or a Black Rainstorm Warning is announced, all examinations will be canceled.  Those in progress will normally continue until the end.
c) If Signal No. 8 or a Black Warning is canceled
     • at or before 6:30 am, examinations starting at or after 8:30 am will be held as scheduled;
at or before 12 noon, examinations starting at or after 2 pm will be held as scheduled;
at or before 4 pm, examinations starting at or after 6 pm will be held as scheduled.
d) If Signal No. 8 or above or a Black Warning is still in force at 4 pm, all evening examinations will be canceled.
   
4.11 If an examination is canceled due to the Black Rainstorm Warning or the Typhoon Warning Signal No. 8 or above being issued, arrangements will be made for that examination to be held as soon as practicable after the scheduled examination period.
   

5. Intellectual Property Rights

The University has established policies defining the characteristics, development, procedures, responsibilities, and ownership of intellectual property for students, faculty and staff and all other agents, employees and fellows of the University. Policies are organized into four different areas of interests: Copyright, Patents, Software, and Trade and Service Marks. Information is available from the website of the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies (http://www.vprg.ust.hk/intellectual_property.htm).  As part of University policy, all students, faculty and staff and all other agents, employees and fellows of the University are required to agree to and abide by these policies as a condition of admission, employment and contract for services.  The University may make changes to these policies from time to time.

6. Use of Human or Animal Subjects

There are complex legal, regulatory and operational standards applicable to the care and use of human and animal “subjects” in educational, research and service programs.  The term “subject” means that the person or animal is subjected to some planned activity for the purpose of effecting response or developing new scientific understanding.  The Committee on Research Practices monitors the implementation of policies in this area.

7. Variance from Regulation

In general, request for a variance to the academic regulation should be made in the first instance to the studentís major department, providing all the necessary supporting documents. It will then be submitted to the appropriate University authority for consideration. Any subsequent appeal against this decision may be made within two weeks of receiving notice of the decision and should be addressed to the next level of authority. Normally, the decision for this subsequent appeal is final.

(Information as of July 2011)