Current Students

Leave of Absence

Students enrolling in different academic years are governed by different leave regulations as follows:

Vacation Leave (For full-time students only)

Up to 14 days (excluding Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays) in each 12-month period during the normative study period (See Note 1)

Study Leave

Minimum leave period: Nil
Maximum leave period: A cumulative period of 12 months for study leave for the entire period of study

Non-study Leave

Minimum leave period: 7 calendar days
Maximum leave period: A cumulative period of 12 months for non-study leave for the entire period of study

Sick Leave (w.e.f. January 1, 2012)

An MPhil/PhD student who needs to be away from his/her study because of illness shall take sick leave.

  • The student shall inform his/her supervisor and Department immediately of his/her sick leave.

  • For sick leave of 3 days or above, the student shall submit an application for sick leave with a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner as far as possible.

  • For sick leave over 7 days, the student shall submit an application for sick leave and it must be accompanied by a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner.

  • If the student needs to be away from his/her study because of illness for a longer period of time where his/her study progress may be affected, he/she should take non-study leave instead of sick leave.

Maternity Leave (w.e.f. September 2018)

A pregnant student is provided flexibilities to decide either to take non-study leave or maternity leave, based on her own needs.

Maternity leave is introduced w.e.f. September 1, 2018. Maternity leave is 10 continuous weeks. It should start on or before the actual date of birth of the child. Calendar days are counted, including any intervening Sundays and public holidays. Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) will be paid during maternity leave. The PGS provided during maternity leave is not extra financial support, and will be counted towards the total amount of PGS available to cover a student’s normative study period. A student on maternity leave will not have her study period interrupted, i.e. her normative study period will not be automatically extended by the period of maternity leave. Nonetheless, if the student needs a longer period to finish her thesis at the end of her study period, she can apply for an extension of candidature.

The student may also take non-study leave instead of maternity leave. The differences between non-study leave and maternity leave are summarized as follows:

Options of leave

PGS during leave

Liable to University fees during leave

Automatic extension of study period

Non-study Leave

No

No*

Yes

Maternity Leave

Yes

Yes

No

* Students whose study period is suspended are not liable to University fees. However, University fees shall be paid in advance. Credit(s) arising from the taking of non-study leave will be carried forward to offset composition fee in the ensuing instalment. 

A medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner certifying the pregnancy and specifying the expected date of confinement has to be submitted together with the maternity leave application.

Paternity Leave (w.e.f. September 2018)

A student may apply for up to 5 days of paternity leave for each confinement of his spouse/partner, and he may take all 5 days of paternity leave in one go or on separate days. Paternity leave can be taken any time during the period from 4 weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child to 10 weeks beginning on the actual date of delivery of the child.

Any period of paternity leave granted will be counted towards the period of study. PGS will be paid during paternity leave, and the student is required to pay the normal fees.

Supporting documents required:

(a) A medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner specifying the expected/actual date of delivery of the child; and
(b) marriage certificate of the student and the child’s mother*.

* If a marriage certificate is not available, please submit a written statement signed by the student stating the name of the child’s mother, the expected/actual date of delivery of the child; and that the student is the child’s father.

Notes: 

  1.  Leave on a weekday is counted as a whole day, i.e. no half-day leave. If students would like to take more than 14 days of vacation leave in one year, they may be allowed to advance the following year's vacation leave, subject to approval from the supervisor and the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC). The maximum number of days of vacation leave that can be advanced is 5 days. If students would like to advance more than 5 days, they are advised to take non-study leave on top of the vacation leave instead. 

  2.  In addition to the above regulations, holders of Hong Kong PhD Fellowships (HKPF) have to observe the terms and conditions as stipulated by the Research Grants Council regarding leave of absence.

  3.  Students enrolled in joint programmes are expected to spend half of their study period at the partner institution, and are allowed to take study leave of up to half of their period of study.

  4.  A blanket approval has been granted by the Board of Graduate Studies to allow students of joint programmes to take study leave exceeding half of their study period, provided that the relevant committees overseeing the joint programme have approved the individual student's study plan in accordance with the requirement that they can spend a maximum of 60% of their study period at the partner institution, where applicable.

Please also refer to the  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Current Students for more information