Hong Kong has lost the top Asian university ranking to Singapore for the first time in 2014, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday, citing the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Rankings for the region.
After heading the rankings for the past three years, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has slumped to No. 5, replaced by the National University of Singapore, which ranked second along with the University of Hong Kong last year, it said.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology jumped to second place from sixth, while HKU slipped to third, with the Chinese University of Hong Kong rising one place to sixth, the report said.
The adoption of a four-year university system — which allows universities to double their intake of high school graduates through both the old and new systems — has weakened the Hong Kong universities’ faculty-student ratio, a performance indicator used in the rankings, according to the newspaper. Other indicators include reputation of academics, employers’ appraisal of graduates, volume and citations of paper as well as proportion of inbound and outbound exchange students.
Fang Yongyan, who was an exchange student in Singapore last year, was quoted as saying that students of Singapore’s universities seldom discuss current affairs and care less about political issues, while students in Hong Kong universities enjoy more freedom of speech and voice more concern about current social problems.
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