HKU can improve its world ranking by luring elite students

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 October, 2013, 6:31am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 October, 2013, 6:31am

I am disappointed that the University of Hong Kong has dropped more than 20 places in the world top 200 university rankings.

Although the Post article about the topic ("HKU drops over 20 places in world league table", October 4) suggested HKU has not suffered much of a decline in standards, it is important for the university to upgrade itself and remain competitive.

To tackle the problem, I think HKU needs to learn from some mainland universities - for instance, Tsinghua - and publish more research papers in international journals. I believe this can be achieved by pressuring some of the teaching staff and allocating more resources to support their research. Since HKU was criticised for using too much money on hiring professors some years ago, maybe it is time for it to reflect on how the money should be spent and come up with a new plan of resource distribution.

Next, HKU can also increase its competitiveness by attracting elite students from overseas. For example, the university can urge the government to provide resources for setting up more scholarship schemes and grant elite students local citizenship, as Singapore has been doing for years.

The influx of brilliant scholars from all around the world would, I believe, not only improve the campus' cultural diversity but also turn it into a more inspiring place to teach and learn. Therefore, attracting more international students with scholarships might also help to improve the university's ranking.

I strongly urge the government and the administrative bodies of the universities of Hong Kong, especially HKU, to collaborate on improving the quality of tertiary education. Addressing this issue should be put at the top of the agenda - otherwise, along with the university ranking, Hong Kong will also go downhill in the foreseeable future.

Catrina Mo, Tuen Mun