Hong Kong’s top three universities have all declined in rankings, according to The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2015 of the top 100 global university brands.
The University of Hong Kong (HKU), which has maintained a spot in the top 50 since the survey began five years ago, has fallen eight places since last year, from 43 down to 51.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) experienced an even greater decline, falling 20 places, from 71-80 band down to 51-60 this year.
Meanwhile, The Chinese University of Hong Kong completely fell out of the top 100 this year, after maintaining its ranking in the 81–90 band for three consecutive years.
Whilst the decline in rankings could be interpreted as a reflection of growing concerns regarding academic freedom in universities, as political tension continues to rise between Hong Kong and China, another factor may be the increasing number of Hong Kong students who choose to study overseas.
A study by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) revealed that the number of Hong Kong students entering universities in England increased by almost a quarter (24%) between 2012/2013 and 2011/2012. This may be influenced by the fact that all top 10 universities in the Reputation Ranking remain in Britain, with Cambridge and Oxford taking the 2nd and 3rd spot this year, and the United States, where Harvard University claims the top spot.
To see the full rankings, click here.