The Provost together with the Deans, after extensive discussions on several occasions, propose that, with effect from the 2014-15 academic year, for both undergraduate (except the MBChB) and postgraduate (where applicable) programmes, the two academic terms should be of equal length and that each term should consist of 14 weeks of teaching, subject to the following provisos:

(a)  Students will continue to select courses freely and the examination timetable will only be formulated after the end of the add/drop period based on course registration.

(b) The period of course examinations after the first term will as far as possible end on or before 23 December and in any case no later than 30 December.

(c) The examination load for each student will be no heavier than it is now, i.e. no student will take more than two course examinations each day.

(d) Congregation and Alumni Homecoming will be held outside the examination period to ensure that examinations will not be disrupted and all venues are available.

(e) The second term will commence after a term break period of 10-14 days on completion of the first term course examinations, and will continue to have one week's class suspension for the Lunar New Year holidays.

At its meeting on 27 March 2013, the Senate agreed, after acknowledging that the HKDSE 2013 results would be released one week earlier than the previous year, that the first term of the 2013-14 academic year should again commence on the first Monday of September so that the course examinations would finish on 23 December 2013, before Christmas.

At the same meeting, the Senate also agreed in principle that there was no special reason why the first term should commence on a Monday, and should instead commence on the first weekday of September, which means that henceforth the term would normally commence on 1 September (unless it is not a weekday) and in any case no later than 3 September.

This arrangement provides an opportunity also to review the length of the academic terms.

The proposal was forwarded for consultations with the Boards of Faculty, Council of the Graduate School, Assemblies of Fellows of the Colleges and the student bodies (through the University Dean of Students).


Senate at its meeting held on 4 December accepted a proposal of retaining the pattern of a 13 weeks first academic term and a 14 weeks second academic term. The commencement of the first academic term of 2014 was set on 1 September 2014 (Monday). Further consultation would be conducted in the coming year to review whether there should be any change in the academic term dates for the year 2015-16 and beyond.

This page was last updated on November 18, 2014.