Best universities in Hong Kong

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

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September 17 2020
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

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Hong Kong is home to some of the highest-ranked Asian universities. The densely populated city state not only produces 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 Chinese faster. Living in a large metropolis has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you will be in the midst of the cultural and business buzz but on the other hand you will have to learn the tricks for making your living expenses more affordable.

The best Hong Kong higher education institutions also have strong links with employers; this ensures a high rate of employment for their graduates. Because the city acts as a bridge between China and the rest of the world in both financial and cultural terms, there are 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 2021.


Best universities worldwide 

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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 leads to an outstanding graduate 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. 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 the university are taught in English. The institution 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.

Notable alumni and staff 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 winners of Turing Awards, Veblen Prizes and Fields Medals, and Rhodes scholars.

The campus is situated on the spectacular Tolo Harbour. In 2014, it won the Hong Kong Award for Environmental Excellence for its eco-friendly initiatives.

=2. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1991, The 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 more than 250 universities around the world, including mainland China, and it places a particular focus on interdisciplinary studies.

The stunning setting overlooking the ocean 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.


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?
Is the Chinese University of Hong Kong one of the most haunted universities in the world?


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 reflected in its diverse body of students and staff. The university is particularly committed to sustainability in its practices and research.

The institution 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 list of the top 10 most impressive university buildings.

Famous alumni include Christine Loh OBE, undersecretary 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, 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, and design and humanities.

Since 2001, the university has offered associate degrees and higher diploma programmes to senior secondary school-leavers.

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

One of the most striking campus buildings is the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, designed by Zaha Hadid, which hosts design lectures, workshops and exhibitions.


Top universities in Hong Kong 2021

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2021 results

World University Rank 2021  Hong Kong Rank 2021 University
 39  1 University of Hong Kong
 =56  =2 Chinese University of Hong Kong
 =56  =2 The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
 126  4 City University of Hong Kong
 129  5 Hong Kong Polytechnic University
 351–400  6 Hong Kong Baptist University

Read more: Best universities in the United States

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