HKU in world's top 20, Chinese University 50th

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 November, 2007, 12:00am

The University of Hong Kong was judged one of the 20 best universities in the world in an international ranking released yesterday.

HKU leapt 15 places to 18th position in The Times Higher Education Supplement-QS World University Rankings 2007 - coming just behind the University of Tokyo, Asia's top scorer in 17th place.

Hong Kong also improved its overall showing in the ranking of world-class universities. Chinese University jumped 12 places to 50th position, while Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and City University both rose five places to 53rd and 149th, respectively. But HKUST is still short of the 43rd position it held in 2004, when the ranking was launched.

Last year's two highest-scoring Asian universities - Peking University and the National University of Singapore, which reached 14th and 19th - slipped back to 36th and 33rd this year.

Victor Fung Kwok-king, chairman of HKU's ruling council, said he was thrilled by the university's ranking, which was 'a dream come true' and showed that HKU had surpassed his expectations.

'Since I took up the chairmanship six years ago, I had been very confident that HKU had all the capabilities of becoming the top English-medium university in Asia and should aspire to be one of the best 25 universities in the world,' he said.

HKU vice-chancellor Tsui Lap-chee said the fact that two universities in Hong Kong were now among the top 50 in the rankings moved the city closer to being the tertiary education hub of the Asia-Pacific region.

The significant improvement in HKU's scores for peer review and review by graduate recruiters in the ranking indicated that the university's reputation was rising among academics and employers around the world.

'Without the hard work and dedication of staff, students and alumni, as well as the staunch support of donors, the government and the wider public, HKU would not have been able to attain this exceptional level of recognition,' Professor Tsui said.

Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and Yale grabbed the top four spots in this year's rankings, while the University of Chicago and University College London are the only newcomers in the exclusively American and British top 10.

But the number of Asian institutions in the top 100 has edged up from 12 to 13, with Kyoto, Tsinghua and Osaka universities also among the top 50.

Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of education and careers consultancy QS, said: 'The results are recognition of the quality of education that Hong Kong's universities offer.

'Hong Kong's higher education is putting itself forward, and students are taking a closer look at them for the quality of the faculty, international diversity, and of course, for the education they will receive there.'

The rankings, co-published annually by The Times Higher Education Supplement, are devised from a combination of peer and recruiter reviews, journal citations per faculty member, the percentages of international academics and students within a university, and the ratio of students to academics.