Three Hong Kong universities drop in World Reputation Rankings, while PolyU appears for the first time

  • University of Hong Kong fell out of the top 50, while Chinese University and the University of Science and Technology dropped as well
  • Polytechnic University, the site of clashes during the protests, made its first-ever appearance on the list
South China Morning Post |

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Visitors walks past a logo of University of Hong Kong at HKU in Pok Fu Lam. Photo: SCMP/Nora Tam

Three of Hong Kong’s top universities have slid down an annual international ranking according to The Times Higher Education survey, a Britain-based publication that ranks the world’s best universities based on feedback from scholars.

The survey, conducted between November 2019 and February 2020, coincided with last year’s anti-government protests, which saw violent clashes spill onto the campuses of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Chinese University. The University of Science and Technology (HKUST) rounded out the list of city schools making return appearances on the Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings.

The trio was joined on the list for the first time ever by Polytechnic University, whose own campus was the site of a high-profile battle between police and protesters. None of the four, however, cracked the top 50.

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HKU, which ranked 44th in 2019, slipped to a tier of schools encompassing spots 51 to 60. Chinese University dropped from the 91-100 group to a tier encompassing schools 101 to 125, while HKUST fell from its slot in the 81-90 bracket to the 91-100 group.

PolyU, whose campus hosted a violent clash between protesters and police last November, made its debut on the list, appearing in the 126-150 grouping.

In response to their drops, the three previously ranked Hong Kong universities said they would continue to strive for excellence in research and teaching while offering a quality education.

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“We firmly believe the work we are undertaking to achieve the aims outlined in our vision document, with the commitment to being Asia’s global university, will enhance our international reputation,” a University of Hong Kong spokesman said.

A spokesman from Chinese University added that various school rankings used different evaluation criteria and parameters, which might produce disparate results.

The Times Higher Education survey ranks the world’s universities based on feedback from experienced, published scholars who offer their views on research and teaching within their own disciplines and institutions. They received 11,004 responses from 132 countries this year.

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