A new world university ranking published for the first time today has been boycotted by a prominent Hong Kong university. City University did not take part in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, while Chinese University did not respond to repeated invitations to take part, according to the project's leaders. The British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) teamed up with the global information company Thomson Reuters to produce the new ranking of the world's 200 best universities following a rift last year with partner Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Its release comes just eight days after the publication of QS's 2010 ranking. The University of Hong Kong is the highest-ranking Asian university in the new league table. It was judged to be 21st best in the world, five places ahead of the University of Tokyo. In last year's THE/QS ranking, Tokyo came 22nd and HKU 24th. Hong Kong has four universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings top-200, with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 41st position - six places lower than in last year's THE/QS table. A CityU spokeswoman said: 'Along with several other leading institutions in the region and elsewhere, CityU has decided not to submit data to the new rankings in the Times Higher Education at this stage because the new system is only in its first year of operation and is yet untested.' A Chinese University spokeswoman said it had not taken part due to a 'communications error'. Baptist University has soared to 111th in the world under the new methodology, from joint 307th position in last year's ranking, and Polytechnic University has leapt up 46 places to 149th. Hong Kong had a record five universities in last year's top 200, with Chinese University 46th and City University 124th. HKU celebrated becoming the highest-ranking university in Asia last week after it overtook Tokyo in the QS 2010 league table, coming 23rd. 'HKU is pleased that we are Asia's No 1 in the THE World University Rankings 2010,' a spokeswoman said yesterday. 'It's noteworthy that although THE and QS use different criteria and weightings in their ranking exercises, HKU was rated equally well, internationally and in Asia.' At the top of the THE table, Harvard retains first place while the California Institute of Technology has jumped up eight places to knock Cambridge out of second position. THE deputy editor Phil Baty said: 'Hong Kong should be really pleased with its performance. It is still very much there among the world's best. And mainland China has maintained a strong position.' The vast majority of universities around the world 'embraced the exercise and actively participated', he said.