Rush to internationalise with local push

Like many institutions around the world, Hong Kong universities want to pursue internationalisation to become and remain globally competitive. This is partly driven by university rankings systems which include international indicators in their ranking criteria, write Erica Li, Soohyun Kim and Brianna To for the Hong Kong Free Press.

According to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2018, five out of Hong Kong’s eight publicly-funded universities are among the top 100 out of 959 ranked universities in the world. The number of international students, international faculty and co-authored articles has a significant impact on the rankings, with the first two making up a total of 10%. And in recent years, Hong Kong institutions have scored highly in these two areas. However, a closer look at the data reveals this has mostly been achieved because of the high number of mainland students and faculty in Hong Kong universities.

According to the University Grants Committee (UGC) 2016-17 annual report, there were 12,037 mainland students out of 16,474 non-local students of UGC-funded programmes in Hong Kong. That means mainland students make up 73% of the non-local student population, David Ho Wai-lun, a researcher with the SynergyNet think tank and teaching fellow at the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong says: “The ranking of universities somehow is just a game that cannot reflect how internationalised Hong Kong universities are.”
Full report on the Hong Kong Free Press site