Four local universities have slipped in the latest QS World University Rankings, while the University of Hong Kong has been overtaken by Peking University.
HKU and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology had the worst performance in academic and employer reputation surveys, which polled over 130,000 academics and more than 75,000 employers. However, universities in Hong Kong had “consistently positive feedback” from employers regarding graduate quality.
Global higher education analysts Quacquarelli Symonds began compiling university rankings in 2004, and the latest rankings featured 1,300 universities around the world. Seven universities in Hong Kong made it into the rankings this year.
HKU remained in 22nd position, the best-performing university in the SAR. However, its ranking in Asia dropped from fourth to fifth and was overtaken by Peking University, which is now in fourth place, while National University of Singapore ranked first in Asia.
Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Tsinghua University in Beijing ranked second and third respectively.
The rankings of four other universities in Hong Kong have also fallen. They include HKUST, which fell seven places to 34th, and City University, which fell five places to 53rd. Baptist University fell from 264th to 287th and Lingnan University dropped 10 places to 590th.
But Chinese University and Polytechnic University’s rankings improved. CUHK climbed four places to 39th, and PolyU went up nine places to 66th.
“Though this year’s QS World University Rankings result sees more of Hong Kong’s universities fall rather than rise, the overall picture is still of a world-class, healthy group of universities,” said QS spokesman Jack Moran.
He said the falls in ranking of HKUST and CityU were because of “relatively small changes” in academic reputation and relative research impact, but they both stayed among the world’s top 40 research universities.
Three local universities ranked in the top 100 for research impact. They are HKUST, which ranked 24th, CityU at 31st and CUHK at 88th.
Moran added: “For Hong Kong Baptist University and Lingnan University, the decline in relative research performance is more severe, but their graduates are enjoying increasing recognition among employers.”