APRU Inbound Virtual Student Exchange Program

As member university of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), HKUST offers quality virtual courses for students from participating member universities of the Virtual Student Exchange Program (VSE).

Courses and Participating Universities

  • Click here to access the list of participating universities and course offering in Fall 2021.
  • HKUST courses are open to students of participating exchange partners only. HKUST courses are not open to students from the following universities: California Institute of Technology, Far Eastern Federal University, Nagoya University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, Universidad de los Andes, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Universiti Malaya, University of Chile, University of Indonesia, University of Oregon, University of Science and Technology of China, University of the Philippines.
  • All courses are synchronous, online interactive classes, not pre-recorded. Attendance will be marked. All students are required to attend classes and assessments according to the time and format set by the instructors. NO special arrangements will be made for virtual study abroad students. Students should consider time zone differences before enrolling into a course.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English and/or studying in institutions where the primary medium of instruction is not English are required to possess proficiency equivalent to one of the following English language requirements. Applicants are required to upload the relevant test results into their HKUST application.

  • IELTS overall band 6.0;
  • TOEFL paper-based test (PBT) 550;
  • TOEFL computer-based test (CBT) 213;
  • TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) 80

For applicants who do not possess these test results, they should seek endorsement from their home institution to confirm their English language proficiency using the endorsement form. Applicant should upload the signed form to their HKUST application.

Application Procedure

Interested students from participating universities can apply by following the steps below.

  • Step 1: Complete application at ARPU VSE Central Office
    Click here for details of the application procedures at APRU VSE Central Office.

  • Step 2: Complete HKUST application
    After receiving the confirmation email from APRU VSE Central Office, click here to provide your basic information to HKUST. HKUST will review your submission and contact you shortly for the login details to complete application on HKUST system (i.e. MyStudyAbroad System). Detailed instruction on the HKUST application can be downloaded here.

    After you submitted the application on HKUST MyStudyAbroad system, HKUST will review it, and may contact you if more information is required. If you are admitted to the program, you will receive a decision email from HKUST.

Important Dates

Fall 2021

1 September to 18 December 2021 (including exam period) 
13 August 2021
21 August 2021 (Hong Kong Time)
13 September 2021

Course Drop

Based on the choice of course, admitted students will be pre-enrolled into the course given there are seats remaining. The course enrollment result will be announced one week before the term starts.

If students wish to drop the course, ‘drop’ request should be submitted to before the drop deadline aforementioned. Drop requests received after the drop deadline will be recorded as a “Withdrawal without Penalty (W)” grade on your HKUST transcript.

Coursework and Exam

Virtual study abroad students are not required to be physically present at HKUST to complete the coursework and examination requirements. Online exams and alternative assessments will be arranged.

For courses that require exams, the exam times might be standardized for all enrolled students to ensure equity although they could be located in different time zones. As such, students need to be prepared that the exam times may not be what you are accustomed to normally at your home institution.


HKUST will issue transcripts detailing the courses taken and the grades obtained. The transcripts will be mailed to your home institution.

HKUST uses a 4.3 grading scale, with letter grades, with Grade D being a marginal pass. Please visit here for details.

Credit transfers are approved by students’ home institutions. You should check with your home institution on its policy regarding the transfer of grades and credits.


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