SAR is star player in uni rankings but top honors go elsewhere

Local | Phoenix Un 6 Sep 2017

The University of Hong Kong moved up one place to rank fourth among Asian institutions in the Times Higher Education rankings, and rose three spots to 40th globally.

The Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 published yesterday included 1,000 universities in 77 countries and regions. HKU ranked highest among six universities in Hong Kong, but three places behind the National University of Singapore, which topped all the Asian institutions and rose two places to a joint 22nd in the world. The second and third top Asian schools are from China - Peking University at joint 27th globally and Tsinghua University at 30th.

Lagging behind HKU is the University of Tokyo, which fell from 39th globally last year to 46th.

Two more local universities are among the global top 100: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which jumped from 49th to 44th, and from sixth to fifth in Asia; and Chinese University of Hong Kong, which advanced significantly from 76th to 58th globally, ranked eighth in Asia.

Times Higher Education rankings said Hong Kong, which secured three places in the top 100 and two in the top 50, has improved its performance, surpassing many leading institutions in the West.

It said Chinese University of Hong Kong moved up because of a significant boost in its reputation for research and teaching, as well as higher scores for citations and industry income.

However, China overtook Hong Kong as the most-represented Asian territory, with seven institutions in the top 200, compared with Hong Kong's five.

"Hong Kong is one of the region's star higher education territories," said Global Rankings editorial director Phil Baty.

"The rest of the world will be closely watching Hong Kong's universities as they soar to join the global elites."

Success in Asia is limited to Hong Kong, the mainland and Singapore, as institutes in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have fallen in position.

Globally, Britain's University of Oxford retained top spot in the rankings, followed by the University of Cambridge, also in the UK, which climbed two places to second, overtaking the joint third of California Institute of Technology and Stanford University in the United States.

HKUST said it was pleased with the rating. "It is not our goal to pursue high ranking but rankings can serve as a useful reference for us to understand more about our performance and identify areas for improvement."

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