University of Hong Kong celebrated ranking 18th among world universities this week at a 'One World' event to publicise its global student exchanges. It is the first Hong Kong university to make it into the top 20.
'Different people might have different opinions about ranking universities,' said vice-chancellor Tsui Lap-chee, commenting on the university's position in the Times Higher Education Supplement-QS World University Rankings.
'At least this result tells us we have done a good job.'
HKU climbed to 18th from 33rd last year, flanked by Tokyo University and Stanford in the US. Chinese University came 38th, up from 50th, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology was ranked 53rd.
'We are trying to transform into an international research university by strengthening integrated research in both quantity and quality,' Professor Tsui said.
He announced the ranking at a meeting of current and former students in HKU's Global Lounge.
HKU council chairman Victor Fung kwok-king said: 'There is no better way to learn about an unfamiliar culture or community than to live it, feel it and experience it first hand.' He said 900 HKU students went on overseas exchange programmes with 148 institutions in 23 countries and there were 1,052 overseas students studying at HKU this year.
Liu Liu, 22, a student from Fujian studying economics and finance, spent eight weeks in Pakistan. 'I wanted to explore a completely new culture,' she said, adding she had lived in a village that hand-stitched 70 per cent of the world's footballs.