HKU bucks trend as uni rankings slip

Local | Sophie Hui 12 Sep 2019

The University of Hong Kong is the only tertiary institution among the SAR's top five to buck the `trend of a fall in global rankings.

In the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, five local institutions made the top 200.

The others are University of Science and Technology and Chinese, City and Polytechnic universities.

Three are in the top 60, with HKU the top local institution at 35th, up one spot.

Although HKU's score for reputation score dropped, it saw an improvement in citations.

HKUST is ranked at No 47 - six spots down - due to declines in reputation and citation scores.

CUHK slipped four places to 57th. Its reputation fell but citations stayed stable.

CityU saw the worst fall, dropping 16 places to No 126.

It actually saw an improvement in reputation and publications per staff, but the citation score has fallen.

PolyU fell 12 places to 171st due to drops in scores for teaching reputation and research income. However, its scores in citations and research reputation, as well as in student-to-staff ratio, have improved.

Baptist University remained stable in the 400-500 band.

Times Higher Education said Hong Kong "continues to perform remarkably well in the rankings given its size," but it has been overtaken by South Korea and became the third most-represented Asian nation in the top 200.

"Each of Hong Kong's six institutions are characterized by an outstanding international outlook - bucking a trend among Asian universities - and a high-quality teaching environment, but a relatively low industry income in comparison to their top 200 rivals," the publication said.

The mainland hosts the top two universities in Asia for the first time.

Tsinghua University ranked 23rd, one place down, but retained its top rank in Asia. Peking University overtook the National University of Singapore to place second in Asia, and 24th globally.

A CityU spokesman said it will take note of and analyse the rankings.

Some international students have been put off by the unrest, he said, but other universities were affected too. "A considerable number of non-local students, non-mainland international students and exchange students as well as several experts have decided to abandon their studies, exchanges, or employment in Hong Kong," he said.

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