Graduates from a Hong Kong university beat their peers from more established institutions like the University of Oxford and Peking University in terms of employability in the latest global ranking, released on Thursday. The 26-year-old Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) came in 12th globally and was placed ahead of universities in mainland China when it came to employer perceptions of graduates, according to the Global University Employability Ranking 2017. The survey polled 6,000 recruiters and executives from 22 countries. It was designed by French human resources consultancy Emerging, and has been conducted annually for the past seven years by employment research institute Trendence. The findings have been published exclusively by Times Higher Education since 2015. The survey also showed that HKUST outperformed Peking University (14th), the University of Oxford (15th) and the National University of Singapore (16th). HKUST ranked No 3 university in Asia, ahead of HKU Of the 150 universities ranked globally, the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Columbia University, all in the United States, claimed the top three spots. The University of Tokyo, ranked ninth globally, was the top institution in Asia. HKUST moved up one place from last year, retaining its spot in the global top 20 and leading the pack among institutions in China for the fifth consecutive year. Five Hong Kong universities achieve best rankings in recent years on world list “I am very proud of our graduates, who continue to be ranked among the most competitive and desirable employees in the global job market,” Tony Chan, president of HKUST, said. “It attests to their personal quality and the high regard that employers have placed on them.” Three other institutions in the city – the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University and City University – were placed 71st, 82nd and 134th respectively. The survey was based on hiring criteria for graduates, which include flexibility, motivation, communication skills, adaptability, multicultural sensitivity and the ability to handle pressure. Besides having to consider their past experience with graduates from these institutions, employers were also asked to assess the following factors for universities: the quality of teaching and research, expertise in field of competence, international exposure and reputation.