CityU leaps in latest QS world university rankings

September 15, 2015 12:05
City University of Hong Kong made a huge leap in this year's QS rankings, jumping to the 57th place from 108th last year. Former CityU professor Joseph Cheng (inset) was criticized by Beijing mouthpieces for his involvement in Occupy protests.

Four Hong Kong universities are among the world's top 60 institutes of higher learning, according to the latest survey by the British education company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The City University of Hong Kong (CityU) made a huge leap, jumping to the 57th place from 108th a year ago.

The University of Science and Technology ranks 28th this year, the highest in the territory, while the Chinese University of Hong Kong is No. 51 on the list.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) now ranks 30th this year, down from 28th place last year.

According to QS, Hong Kong is at the heart of Asia and is a doorstep away from mainland China.

English is widely used in the city's highly internationalized universities, which is one of the reasons why a number of local universities have made to the list, Ming Pao Daily quoted the QS report as saying.

When asked whether HKU’s ranking will be affected by the recent turmoil over academic freedom in the university, QS said the incident did not have much effect on the ranking this year.

However, instability in the internal or political environment of a university may affect its ranking in the long term.

For example, if a number of significant scholars are forced to leave their posts for political reasons, that would certainly affect the ranking, QS said.

Earlier this month Times Higher Education published an article entitled “Unsafe harbour? Academic freedom in Hong Kong”, which said Beijing mouthpieces in the territory have been attacking prominent pro-democracy scholars, who are now paying the price for "politically incorrect" talk.

For example, former CityU professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek was being called a traitor for supporting last year's Occupy protests.

Johannes Chan Man-mun, former dean at the HKU faculty of law, was being blamed for the poor quality of research in his department. 

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of the three convenors of the Occupy Central movement, is an associate professor in the faculty.

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