NUS reminds students to declare travel plans after foreign exchange student expelled

The National University of Singapore sent out an internal circular reminding staff and students to declare their overseas travel plans from March 9 to July 31. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore (NUS) treats students' failure to declare travel plans as an offence to be dealt with "in accordance with the NUS Code of Conduct and NUS student disciplinary procedures".

On Monday (March 9), the university sent out an internal circular that was seen by The Straits Times, reminding staff and students to declare their overseas travel plans from March 9 to July 31.

Dr Peck Thian Guan, director of NUS' Office of Safety, Health and Environment, said in the circular that those who do not intend to travel must also indicate as such.

From March 16, students who do not declare their travel plans in the system will not be able to access LumiNUS (NUS' online learning management system that they use to access resources and watch web lectures), Dr Peck said.

The reminder came after the university terminated an international exchange student's programme here for breaching a mandatory 14-day leave of absence (LOA) and making a false travel declaration.

NUS dean of students Leong Ching said in a public update to students on Saturday (March 7): "An international exchange student had breached her LOA and made a false travel declaration. The board of discipline has terminated her student exchange programme with NUS and she will return to her home university.

"She has been officially reprimanded and a report sent to her home university."

When queried about matters such as the student's home country, course and year of study and how the university had found out about her conduct, an NUS spokesman declined to give further details as "student disciplinary matters are internal and confidential".

The university said previously that not complying with any of the control measures implemented by NUS would be considered an offence, with disciplinary action taken against staff and students.

NUS has cited some examples of non-compliance and they include not complying with isolation procedures; reporting for work or attending classes when one is supposed to be serving an LOA; and not seeing a doctor when one is experiencing symptoms.

An LOA differs from a stay-home notice (SHN), as the latter is stricter. The SHN scheme took effect from Feb 18 at 11.59pm and there are penalties for those who flout it.

For example, foreigners may get their work or long-term passes revoked, while Singaporeans could be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act. Under the Act, first-time offenders can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.

Those who have been issued an LOA are still allowed to leave their homes briefly, for example, for their meals or to buy household supplies.

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