August 20, 2019
After careful consideration, Stanford has determined that it must suspend the Bing Overseas Studies Program offering in Hong Kong for Autumn Quarter 2019. This decision was made due to concerns related to ensuring our students’ safety and security while participating in the program. This was to be the first quarter of Stanford’s new program in Hong Kong, and we hope and expect the program will move forward in Autumn 2020.
We are notifying the 25 Stanford students who had planned to attend and supporting them in making alternative academic plans for the Autumn Quarter, either at the Stanford University campus or at an alternative overseas program. We regret the disruption this decision will cause for our students and will take every measure to ensure a smooth transition for each of them for the upcoming quarter.
The safety and wellbeing of our students are our top priorities and we have been closely monitoring the security situation in Hong Kong for several weeks. A final decision on the program was needed at this time because students were about to commence travel in advance of the program’s start in Hong Kong during the last week of August. The ongoing unrest, its effects on local services and transportation infrastructure, potential escalation of violence, and uncertainty around potential future disruption in Hong Kong have reached a point where we determined the risks to our students and to the program were too numerous at the present time to proceed.
In making decisions about program operations, BOSP adheres to Stanford’s International Travel Policy and utilizes many reliable sources of information, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of State, intelligence provided through Stanford’s third party global risk consultant, direct reports from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Stanford’s partner institution in Hong Kong), along with benchmarking and sharing information among other U.S. universities with programs in Hong Kong.
Stanford wishes to thank The Chinese University of Hong Kong, our host for the program, for its professionalism and understanding, and for its committed efforts in planning for a successful Autumn 2019 program. Our decision in no way reflects upon our partner institution, and we look forward to resuming the program at that location in 2020.