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Monday, Nov 30, 2020

Three Hong Kong universities declared ‘most international’ by Times Higher Education World University Rankings

City University tops 170 institutions across the world, followed by University of Hong Kong, while Chinese University is ranked fifth. Rankings are based on proportions of international staff and students, publications with international co-authors, and global standing of universities
Hong Kong is home to three of the world’s “most international universities”, including City University (CityU), according to data compiled by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Among 170 universities ranked worldwide, CityU topped the list, followed by the University of Hong Kong (HKU), while Chinese University (CUHK) was ranked fifth, just after Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique and ETH Zurich.

The recognition comes when the local higher education institutions have been dragged into the city’s months-long anti-government protests.

The universities have been ranked based on four equally weighted areas, including the proportion of international staff and students, authorship of publications with at least one international co-author, and their global standing.

“Prospective students looking to study in the most international environments should apply to universities in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, or the UK,” the Times Higher Education said.

Hong Kong’s universities saw off some of the best higher education institutions – such as the National University of Singapore, which came seventh jointly with the University of Oxford. The University of Cambridge was placed eighth.

CityU was noted for having more than 400 exchange partners from 44 countries and regions, while more than 1,200 students of the university took part in exchange programmes each year.

HKU was credited with having 8,000 of more than 20,000 students coming from overseas while its education was seen as having an “international focus, with the aim of preparing students to become global citizens who could be successful anywhere in the world”.

CUHK has 6,000 students from more than 50 countries and has amassed 270 partnerships with institutions from 30 counties.
The rankings, however, did not make any reference to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Following episodes of intense, violent battles between protesters and police around CUHK and other parts of the city, HKU and CityU warned of a decline in the number of inbound exchange students. All the three universities will carry on their student exchange programmes, but some other institutions have suspended receiving foreign students for the current semester on safety grounds.

However, the University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Polytechnic University, Baptist University and Education University have all cancelled incoming exchange programmes, citing the social unrest.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government temporarily suspended all student exchange programmes and internships in mainland China due to a coronavirus outbreak.

CityU was not chosen as one of the “most international universities” last year, while its overall global ranking remains 126 this year. However, this year it overtook the HKU, the 35th best university worldwide, on global exposure. CUHK held on to its fifth place among the “most international universities”, while overall, it remains the 57th best university in the world.

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