22 February 2019
The reputation of the University of Hong Kong is declining, a separate survey of university scholars shows. Photo: HKEJ
The reputation of the University of Hong Kong is declining, a separate survey of university scholars shows. Photo: HKEJ

HKU falls out of top 3 in Asia in latest university ranking

Hong Kong’s universities have slipped in the Times Higher Education 2015/16 global universities ranking, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) dropped one spot to 44th.

The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) fell eight places to 59th.

Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) slumped nine to 138th.

City University of Hong Kong fell from 192nd position into the group of universities in the 201st-250th places.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University is ranked among the universities in the 201-250 band. It was in the 201-225 band last year, so it is unclear whether its ranking is higher, lower or unchanged this year.

Hong Kong Baptist University has slipped into the 351-400 band from the 301-350 band.

Phil Baty, who edited the rankings, said the traditional dominance of US universities is diminishing, although the California Institute of Technology is in top spot for the fifth year in a row.

The National University of Singapore, ranked 26th this year, has edged past Peking University (which climbed to 42nd from 48th a year ago) and the University of Tokyo (which has slumped to 43rd from 23rd last year) to become Asia’s top university. 

HKU, which was third in Asia last year, came fourth.

Meanwhile, Beijing’s Tsinghua University climbed to 47th globally from 49th.

Many universities in East Asia have been climbing fast in the global ranking because of strong financial and political support, Baty said.

He said Hong Kong universities should never take their leading positions for granted given the intense competition.

Baty said the rejection of Johannes Chan Man-mun, former dean of law at HKU, as a pro vice chancellor did not have an impact on the university’s global ranking, as it was too recent.

However, he said another survey involving more than 10,000 senior scholars suggests HKU’s reputation has dropped slightly.

HKU fell in the latest reputation survey to the 51-60 band from 43rd in the previous year.

The reputation of HKUST also declined. The university fell into the 71-80 band from the 51-60 band.

A representative of HKU said different university rankings each have their value as references but said the rankings should not be regarded as the only benchmark.

HKUST and CUHK said they are more focused on academic and research excellence rather than chasing rankings in such polls.

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