THE Times Higher Education magazine defended its World Reputation Rankings that saw Hong Kong’s standing among the world’s 100 most prestigious universities taking a knock.
The University of Hong Kong (HKU, 香港大學) dropped to the 51-60 band, from 43rd last year, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST, 香港科技大學) dropped from 51-60 to 71-80. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK, 香港中文大學) fell off the list – last year it was in the 81-90 band.
The magazine’s pollsters asked 10,507 scholars from 142 countries to fill out an academic survey covering five areas – teaching (30 percent), research (30 percent), citations (ie, research influence, 30 percent), industry income (2.5 percent) and international outlook (7.5 percent).
The survey was conducted between November 2014 and January this year at a time when global attention was focused on the 79-day Occupy Movement (佔領運動) in Hong Kong from September to December last year.
Stephanie Weekes, of Times Higher Education, said, “We can only speculate as to why fewer scholars are naming Hong Kong’s universities as being among the best in the world for teaching and research this year.
“However, the world’s leading universities are usually considered to be bastions of free speech and institutional autonomy, and it could therefore be suggested that the attention brought to Hong Kong during these events has perhaps influenced people’s views.”
(The Standard, 13 March 2015)