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Archives Policies

Archives access is available to HKUST faculty, staff, enrolled students as well as alumni, and researchers from outside. Access is through the Archives staff, by dropping by the Archives Reading Room or by appointment ( Some archival material has access restrictions for reasons of sensitivity and privacy.

Classification of Records

In accordance with standard archival practices, the records held by the University Archives are classified into the following categories:

  1. Public Documents are accessible by the public immediately. These consist of newsletters, annual reports, and other publications; press releases; official policy statements of the university; still images and audio-visual materials of public events; and other documents that have been widely distributed and are clearly intended for public use. Upon transfer of these materials to the University Archives, the setting of terms in the use of the transferred PUBLIC records will be rested with the University Archives.
  2. Confidential Records are closed for a period of 75 years. These are records that contain personal information about individuals, and include personnel files, student records, counseling records, disciplinary files, and similar materials.
  3. All other records are closed for a period of 25 years. While documents stating the official policies of the university are public, the records that document the discussions and issues that resulted in these official positions will not be regarded as public. Thus, the minutes of the University’s governing bodies and various advisory committees can only be accessed by originating offices during the closed period. 


Access to Closed Files

During the period of time in which records are closed, they are available to the office that generated them, or, if that office no longer exists, to the administrative unit that carries on the central function of that office. Use of the records by other offices, or by outside researchers, will require permission from the administrative head (or the acting head) of that office. The staff of the Archives have access to all records in the Archives, and may use any of them to locate non-confidential information for offices at HKUST or to answer questions from the public.

Access to Records in Electronic Format

As a means of facilitating access to public documents and frequently used administrative records, a database, Digital University Archives, has been created to provide electronic access to the materials. Most of the public documents stated above under point 1, are included in this database. Access to other documents, such as meeting minutes, committee records, and internal circulars, which are primarily intended for internal administrative use, are controlled by user logins.

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last modified 12 December 2023