Earlier this year the Hong Kong government allocated $50 million to the eight University Grand Funded universities to strengthen their student support services in response to “the challenges arising from COVID-19.” This includes funding for psychological counseling, mental well-being, career planning and development, along with supporting the physical health of students. Eight universities were invited to submit proposals and each have been given funding to support 75 initiatives for both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years.
The grant funding is to be used to expand existing student services or launch new programs that provide psychological counseling via the internet, organizing a series of seminars and activities to promote mental health, hosting virtual career fairs and career development workshops, and developing mobile apps to encourage walks around campuses. In a press release announcing the grant, the UGF said that, “These initiatives will enable the universities to provide services tailored to the present circumstances, thereby supporting their students to tide over difficult times.
Additionally, the Chairman of the UGC, Carlson Tong, said in a statement, "The pandemic has brought about an unprecedented impact on Hong Kong, and the UGC cares about our students who face all kinds of challenges amidst the lingering pandemic… We will also take this opportunity to encourage innovation among universities in developing a more diverse range of student support services through different delivery means."
With this grant, Symplicity can continue to support university partners globally with solutions designed to holistically support student wellbeing with its suite of products from accessibility and inclusion services (Access), career development (UniHub) and student mental health (Advocate). With these solutions, universities in Hong Kong and around the globe can offer their students with seamless services during COVID-19 and into the future.