20 July 2019
The latest QS report should serve as a wake-up call for Hong Kong universities. Photo: GovHK
The latest QS report should serve as a wake-up call for Hong Kong universities. Photo: GovHK

HK loses spot in top 10 cities for foreign students

Hong Kong has dropped to eleventh place in this year’s ranking of the best cities for international students by British education company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). It ranked No. 8 last year and fifth in 2015.

Montreal tops the list by moving up six notches, while Paris dropped one notch to the second, followed by London, which moved from No. 5 to third place, news website reports.

Seoul led Asian cities at fourth place, followed by Tokyo (No. 7) and Hong Kong.

The cities were evaluated using six indicators: QS university rankings, affordability, student mix, desirability, employer activity and the newly added student views.

The researchers polled students who are studying in a city and those who had studied here, and compared their views with those who thought they might like to study here.

According to the QS report, both the scores on affordability and desirability for Hong Kong dropped. It also performed poorly in terms of students’ views of the city.

Professor Joshua Mok Ka-ho, vice president of Lingnan University, said Hong Kong’s slide in rankings does not mean the quality of education in the city has deteriorated.

Nonetheless, the report should serve as a wake-up call because neighboring countries, such as South Korea and Singapore, have been investing heavily in scientific researches in universities as well as luring foreign students with scholarships, quoted Mok as saying.

He said the insufficient supply of dormitories and high rents also discourage foreign students from coming to study in Hong Kong.

The appropriation mechanism currently being used by local universities is hurting their development, Mok said.

He suggested that Hong Kong universities cooperate with each other or with overseas counterparts to offer joint curricula as a way to enhance competitiveness.

A Romanian student, who is currently studying at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, told Sky Post that he chose to study in Hong Kong rather than in Germany or Sweden because he thought the city’s status as a regional financial center could offer him huge career opportunities after graduation.

However, he said soaring prices in the city have become a burden for him.

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