HKUST edges out local competition in global universities poll

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 November, 2013, 4:07am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 November, 2013, 8:42am

The University of Science and Technology has worked its way up a global study ranking graduates' employability.

HKUST finished 18th in this year's Global Employability Survey, up 30 places from last year, making it the second best in Asia after the University of Tokyo, which placed 10th.

No other Hong Kong university ranked in the top 50.

Conducted by French human resources consulting firm Emerging and German market research firm Trendence, the survey covers 150 universities listed by more than 2,700 recruiters from 20 countries as the institutions they believed produced the best graduates.

The study found that employers valued graduates with good communication skills, teamwork and the ability to work under pressure. About half of those polled said their ideal university should teach practical know-how, combine theories with practice and impart social skills. Employers also considered personality the most important factor in whether an employee succeeded within an organisation.

"Our graduates are known to be hard-working and modest," said university vice-president Eden Woon Yi-teng, adding that the institution's exchange and internship programmes gave students the chance to learn about communication and teamwork in different environments.

Joseph Luc Ngai, a director of consultant McKinsey and Company's Hong Kong branch, said his firm did not favour graduates from any one university, but appreciated HKUST graduates for their international perspectives. "Internationalism is often what global firms need," he said.

Jeremie Plane, a Frenchman who received his degree in global business and marketing from HKUST yesterday, said the university gave business students a chance to take technology courses. "It pushes people out of their comfort zone," he said.

The United States, Britain, Germany and China were the top four countries that the recruiters polled said produced the best graduates. Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge ranked top three, respectively.

Chinese University and the University of Hong Kong were ranked 71st and 115th, respectively, while the mainland's Peking University and Fudan University made the top 50. The National University of Singapore placed 49th.