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### Hong Kong Secures Top Spot in 2024 Global Rankings

The global ranking, encompassing 203 universities, evaluates the percentage of international faculty, students, and collaborative research at academic institutions, along with their global standing. This final criterion relies on THE’s Academic Reputation Survey, where distinguished academics nominate the premier universities worldwide for their educational and research excellence (refer to the methodology below).

This year, a novel approach factors in the population size of each country when assessing these criteria to prevent disadvantaging universities in larger nations. This adjustment has marginally impacted Hong Kong but significantly affected Singapore.

In the rankings, Hong Kong [ppp1] drops three places to tie for 15th, while Singapore [ppp2] falls 10 spots to jointly hold the 20th position.

Conversely, countries with larger populations like Australia and the UK have shown improvements in their rankings. Australia has witnessed advancement in all seven of its ranked institutions compared to the previous year, with four climbing more than 10 places, despite the pandemic affecting the international composition of staff and students. Presently, Australia boasts four institutions in the top 30, a notable increase from just one in 2023. This progress has pushed down the rankings of all three of Canada’s represented universities.

Australia’s ascent can be attributed to a surge in the proportion of esteem votes from global scholars.

While the UK’s progress is more moderate than Australia’s, 10 out of its 12 representatives in this year’s and last year’s rankings have shown improvement or stability, with two additional entries making a comeback after several years (the universities of Birmingham and St Andrews).

Nevertheless, recent alterations in immigration policies could potentially impact the future rankings of Australia and the UK. In a move last December, the Australian government [ppp3] revoked the [ppp4] introduced just 15 months earlier, reducing the age limit for temporary graduate visa applicants and raising the minimum English language requirements.

Simultaneously, in the UK, a new regulation effective from the beginning of this year prohibits international students from bringing their families to the country unless they are enrolled in postgraduate research programs – a decision that a state government official indicated was resulting in [ppp5].

Furthermore, in December, the country unveiled [ppp6], enabling foreign graduates to work and reside in the UK for two years post-course completion.

Simon Marginson, a higher education professor at [ppp7] and the director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, commented on these policy shifts, suggesting that the UK’s alterations would have a more substantial impact on incoming student numbers. However, he noted that the intrinsic demand for the UK was high enough that the numbers would rebound if the relevant policy constraints were lifted.

In the scenario where there is a decline in international students heading to the UK due to these policy changes, he predicted that the US would be the primary beneficiary, provided that they welcome accompanying family members.

Although the US is not as prominently featured as the UK and Australia in the global rankings, its performance has improved this year. The US now boasts five representatives in the top 50, led by [ppp8] in 30th place, a significant rise from two representatives last year.


The compilation of the most internationally diverse universities globally is derived from data gathered for the [ppp9]. It is based on four equally weighted criteria:

  • Percentage of international faculty
  • Percentage of international students
  • Percentage of international collaborative research (the proportion of a university’s total research publications between 2016 and 2020 that involve at least one international co-author, adjusted to accommodate the institution’s subject diversity)
  • Percentage of international reputation (the fraction of votes from foreign scholars in THE’s annual Academic Reputation Survey, where leading academics nominate the best universities worldwide for educational and research excellence).

Only institutions ranked in the 2024 World University Rankings and receiving a minimum of 300 votes in the reputation survey were considered for inclusion. To qualify, universities also needed to secure at least 150 domestic votes or a minimum of 10 percent of the available domestic votes. Once universities are featured in the international list, they are excluded only if they fail to meet the vote thresholds for two consecutive years.