Best universities in Hong Kong

Explore Hong Kong and some of its most influential universities, using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings

October 23 2018
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong is home to some of the highest-ranked Asian universities. The densely populated city-state does not just produce excellent academic research in a broad range of disciplines but is also home to impressive campuses and social programmes.

Many university programmes are taught in English, as both the student bodies and faculties are extremely international.

Studying in Hong Kong as an international student will also help you learn Mandarin and Cantonese faster. Living in a big metropolis comes with ups and downs. On the one hand, you will be in the midst of cultural and business buzz but on the other hand you will have to learn the local tricks for making your living expenses more affordable.

The best Hong Kong higher education institutions also have strong connections with employers; this ensures a high rate of employment for their graduates. As the city acts as a bridge between China and the rest of the world in both financial and cultural terms, you may find plenty of employment opportunities in Hong Kong.

These are some of the best universities in Hong Kong based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019.

Best universities worldwide 

Best universities in Asia
Best universities in Singapore
Best universities in Taiwan 
Best universities in South Korea
Best universities in China
Best universities in Japan

The top 5 universities in Hong Kong

1. University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong is one of Hong Kong’s oldest higher education institutions, and one of Asia’s best universities.

Its academic excellence attracts talented students from Hong Kong as well as mainland China, Asia and the rest of the world and is further translated into an outstanding employment rate.

The university’s staff is as international as its student body, and all programmes are taught in English as well as Chinese.

Alongside a core curriculum, you can study architecture, arts, business and economics, dentistry, education, law, medicine, science and social sciences at the University of Hong Kong.

The institution encourages social engagement thorough volunteering and has a broad network of international employers offering internships to its students and graduates.

2. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1991, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is one of the most respected universities in Asia.

Its research and teaching are particularly strong in technology, engineering and business management.

The university has close ties with over 250 universities around the world, including mainland China, and it places a particular focus on interdisciplinary studies.

The stunning setting by the sea makes it an even more attractive academic destination.

Notable alumni include Henry T. Yang, chancellor at the University of California, writer and sociologist Ambrose King, entrepreneur Chan Yik Hei and actress Myolie Wu.

3. Chinese University of Hong Kong

Set up in 1963, the Chinese University of Hong Kong is one of Asia’s most international and prestigious universities.

Most degrees at CUHK are taught in English. The university regularly hosts talks by world-leading academics.

Its scholars and students do research in five national laboratories and more than 100 research institutes. Among these, one of the most prominent research hubs is the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre in the Department of Linguistics and Modern languages.

CUHK’s notable alumni and faculty include four Nobel laureates, including former vice chancellor Sir Charles Kao, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009. In addition, the university boasts Turing Awards, Veblen Prizes, Fields Medals and Rhodes scholars.

The university’s campus is situated in the spectacular Tolo Harbour. In 2014, CUHK was awarded the Hong Kong Award for Environmental Excellence for its eco-friendly initiatives on campus.

Student experience in Hong Kong 

The highlights of my time as a Chinese University of Hong Kong student
Studying in Asia – Hong Kong or Singapore?
Discovering my passion at the University of Hong Kong
Do you need to know Chinese to study in Hong Kong?

4. City University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1994, City University of Hong Kong offers degrees in business, liberal arts and social sciences, science, engineering, creative media, energy and environment and law. The veterinary medicine programme was established in 2015 in partnership with Cornell University.

Its international character is created equally by both the student body and the staff. The university is particularly committed to sustainability in both its practices and research.

City University is located in the urban setting of Kowloon. One of its buildings, the 2010 Creative Media Centre designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind with Leigh & Orange Architects, made it into CNN’s top 10 most impressive university buildings.

Famous alumni include Christine Loh, OBE, Under Secretary for the Environment and founder of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor and the Citizens Party, Rimsky Yuen, lawyer and Secretary for Justice for Hong Kong, and stand-up comedian Vivek Mahbubani.

5. Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Founded in 1972, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University offers a broad range of degrees in applied science and textiles, business, tourism management, construction and environment, engineering, health and social sciences, as well as design and humanities.

Since 2001, PolyU also offers associate degrees and higher diploma programmes to senior secondary school leavers.

Some of its most notable research projects include the development of a drug to cure liver cancer called BCT-100, safety monitoring of high speed rail, nano-particles for purifying dirty water and electronic “bat ears” for the visually impaired.

There are more than 20 buildings on campus including the Jockey Club Innovation Tower designed by Zaha Hadid, which hosts design lectures, workshops and exhibitions.

Top universities in Hong Kong 2019

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2019 results

Hong Kong Rank 2019 WUR Rank 2019  University
1  36  University of Hong Kong
2  41  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
3  53  Chinese University of Hong Kong
4  =110  City University of Hong Kong
5  159  Hong Kong Polytechnic University
6  401–500  Hong Kong Baptist University

Editor's note: This page was updated on 22 November 2018 to reflect minor changes in the positions of a small number of universities. More information can be found here.

Read more: Best universities in the United States



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