The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has fallen short of making the cut for the top three universities in Asia, according to a globally recognized education analysis company.
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) announced their Asia University Rankings 2021 on Wednesday. Compared to its 2020 list, HKU fell one spot, landing at fourth place.
A total of eight Hong Kong universities were recognized on the QS ranking. Chinese University of Hong Kong also slipped, falling three places to the 12th rank. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology remained at eighth place.
In HKU’s undergraduate admissions booklet for 2021, the university touted its 3rd place ranking on the QS Asia University list along its other accolades. The university’s home page has already been edited to reflect the new, lowered ranking.
The methodology for the rankings is based on factors including academic reputation, employer reputation and the diversity of an institution’s research network.
The QS list ranks the National University of Singapore (NUS), Tsinghua University, and Nanyang Technological University (in Singapore) at first, second and third place respectively.
This is the second time in recent months that newly published rankings have reflected negatively upon the city’s universities. Earlier, HKU fell off the top 50 of Times Higher Education (THE)’s World Reputation Rankings.
Mounting concerns over compromised academic freedom, educators and political activists say, have contributed to a fall in the reputation of Hong Kong’s institutions
In July, HKU voted to fire law professor Benny Tai, who took a leading role in the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Tai lamented the decision as marking “the end of academic freedom in Hong Kong.”
Last month, the university also announced the appointment of two mainland Chinese professors as vice-presidents despite objections from the student union.
According to reports, one of the professors, Max Shen, was a former member of the Chinese Communist Party.