Summary of Findings
 

 

The first part of the survey was to study the general public's perception of the local universities, namely, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), The City University of Hong Kong (CityU), The Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), The Lingnan University (Lingnan), The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong (PolyU) and The University of Hong Kong (HKU), order rotated randomly in different questionnaires. By means of a rating scale from 0-10, with 0 representing the worst, 10 representing the best and 5 being half-half, these universities were assessed one by one with regard to their overall performance plus three core attributes selected by the researcher and the client.

 
 

In order to eliminate possible bias due to ordering, the sequence of rating the eight universities was randomly rotated across all rating questions.

 
 

A. Overall Performance

 
 

First of all, all respondents were asked to evaluate each of these local universities based on their perception of its overall performance using a scale of 0-10, with 0 representing the worst, 10 representing the best and 5 being half-half. Respondents were suggested to take into account the university's local and international reputation, facilities, campus environment, qualification of its teaching staff, academic research performance, conduct and quality of its students, its learning atmosphere, as well as the diversification and degree of recognition for its courses. Survey results indicated that, in terms of public perception, HKU received the highest mean score of 7.92 as rated by 1,213 respondents, CUHK came 2nd with an average score of 7.57 rated by 1,201 respondents, whereas HKUST ranked 3rd with a mean score of 7.16 rated by 1,148 respondents. When compared to the findings obtained from the last survey, no difference was observed in terms of their respective rankings regarding the overall performance of the eight universities, but the mean score of HKBU, taking the 5th rank over the past 3 years, has dropped from 6.31 to 6.16, which was tested to be statistically significant at p=0.01 level (Table 3).

 
 
Table 3 - Overall Performance
   2002 Survey   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   No of raters   Recognition 
  1. HKU  7.87   0.05   7.89   0.05   7.92   0.04   1,213   80.2% 
  2. CUHK  7.53   0.05   7.55   0.05   7.57   0.04   1,201   79.4% 
  3. HKUST  7.16   0.06   7.14   0.05   7.16   0.04   1,148   75.9% 
  4. PolyU  6.78   0.05   6.83   0.05   6.82   0.04   1,186   78.4% 
  5. HKBU  6.21   0.05   6.31   0.05   6.16*   0.04   1,124   74.3% 
  6. CityU  6.10   0.06   6.04   0.05   6.13   0.04   1,113   73.6% 
  7. HKIEd  5.83   0.06   5.82   0.06   5.69   0.05   1,020   67.4% 
  8. Lingnan  5.44   0.06   5.57   0.06   5.51   0.05   1,057   69.9% 
 
 

B. Transparency in Dealing with Internal and External Parties

 
 

With respect to the perceived transparency of each university when carrying out new policies and reforms, taking into consideration its performance in consulting its students and staff, releasing information to the mass media, as well as explaining itself to the public and collecting public opinions, HKU again received the highest rating with a mean score of 6.82 rated by 1,009 respondents, followed by CUHK with an average score of 6.63 from 1,002 respondents, forming the first tier in terms of their perceived transparency. The 3rd and 4th ranks, which comprised the next tier, fell to HKUST (6.32) and PolyU (6.25) respectively. When compared to the findings obtained in the 2003 survey, the respective rankings of all universities have remained unchanged, while a significant increase of 0.19 mark was recorded for the mean score of HKU, indicating an obvious enhancement in its transparency as perceived by the general public (Table 4).

 
 
Table 4 - Transparency
   2002 Survey   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   No of raters   Recognition 
  1. HKU  6.64   0.07   6.63   0.07   6.82*   0.05   1,009   66.7% 
  2. CUHK  6.60   0.07   6.59   0.07   6.63   0.05   1,002   66.2% 
  3. HKUST  6.29   0.07   6.25   0.07   6.32   0.05   945   62.5% 
  4. PolyU  6.17   0.07   6.23   0.06   6.25   0.05   962   63.6% 
  5. HKBU  5.81   0.07   5.90   0.06   5.85   0.05   920   60.8% 
  6. CityU  5.82   0.07   5.84   0.06   5.82   0.05   914   60.4% 
  7. Lingnan  5.32   0.08   5.58**   0.07   5.58   0.06   889   58.8% 
  8. HKIEd  5.59   0.08   5.60   0.07   5.52   0.06   874   57.8% 
 
 

C. Contribution to Society made by Teaching Staff

 
 

Regarding the perceived contribution made to society by each university's teaching staff, taking into account their academic research performance, efforts in promoting their university's image and upgrading its international ranking, participation in community services, as well as their response and commitment to the needs of society, HKU and CUHK both attained their record high of 7.60 and 7.45 respectively, and also represented a significant increase from last year's result. Whilst HKUST and PolyU followed at quite a distance with a mean score of 6.88 (rated by 1,056 respondents) and 6.71 correspondingly (rated by 1,069 respondents). By the same token, the overall rankings stayed practically unchanged when compared to last year's survey (Table 5).

 
 
Table 5 - Contribution to Society
   2002 Survey   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   No of raters   Recognition 
  1. HKU  7.28   0.06   7.26   0.06   7.60**   0.05   1,110   73.4% 
  2. CUHK  7.17   0.06   7.12   0.06   7.45**   0.04   1,113   73.6% 
  3. HKUST  6.90   0.07   6.82   0.07   6.88   0.05   1,056   69.8% 
  4. PolyU  6.51   0.07   6.57   0.06   6.71   0.04   1,069   70.7% 
  5. HKBU  6.07   0.07   6.09   0.06   6.05   0.05   1,020   67.4% 
  6. CityU  5.96   0.07   6.00   0.06   6.04   0.05   1,005   66.4% 
  7. HKIEd  5.86   0.08   5.90   0.07   5.86   0.05   976   64.5% 
  8. Lingnan  5.47   0.07   5.66*   0.07   5.61   0.06   973   64.3% 
 
 

D. Overall Performance of Vice-Chancellor/President

 
 

The last question asked in this part of the survey was the perceived overall performance of the Vice-Chancellor/President of each university, taking into consideration one's local and international reputation, approachability, leadership, vision, social credibility and public relations. It is worthy mentioning that the recognition rates for seven out of eight current Vice-Chancellors/ Presidents rated in this year's survey were over 50% (ranging from 50% to 63%). In this aspect, Professor Paul C.W. Chu of HKUST topped the list for three consecutive years, with an average score of 7.30 rated by 946 respondents, while Professor Lap-chee Tsui of HKU lagged closely behind, attaining a mean score of 7.22 rated by 944 respondents. Meanwhile, Professor Ambrose Y.C. King of CUHK came 3rd at 6.70 and rated by 860 respondents. The 4th to 8th ranks fell to the Vice-Chancellors/Presidents of PolyU, Lingnan, HKBU, CityU and HKIEd correspondingly, with their average scores ranging from 6.53 to 5.78 (Table 6).

 
 
Table 6 - Overall Performance of Vice-Chancellor/President
   2002 Survey   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   Average   Standard error   No of raters   Recognition 
  1. HKUST - Paul C.W. CHU  7.26   0.07   7.22   0.06   7.30   0.05   946   62.5% 
  2. HKU - Lap-chee TSUI#  -N.A.-   7.16   0.06   7.22   0.05   944   62.4% 
  3. CUHK - Ambrose Y.C. KING#  -N.A.-   6.87   0.06   6.70*   0.05   860   56.8% 
  4. PolyU - Chung-kwong POON  6.56   0.07   6.64   0.06   6.53   0.05   869   57.4% 
  5. Lingnan - Edward K.Y. CHEN  6.48   0.07   6.48   0.07   6.45   0.06   913   60.3% 
  6. HKBU - Ching-fai NG  6.31   0.07   6.33   0.06   6.26   0.05   827   54.7% 
  7. CityU - H.K. CHANG  6.31   0.07   6.18   0.07   6.17   0.06   760   50.2% 
  8. HKIEd - Paul MORRIS#  -N.A.-   6.07   0.07   5.78*   0.06   624   41.2% 
#No comparison made with the 2002 data as the relevant post was taken up by another person then.
 
 

E. Perceived Deficiencies among the University Graduates in Hong Kong

 
 

In line with last year's survey design, a question was then asked to gauge respondents' opinion on the qualities which most Hong Kong university graduates lack of. Results showed that, without prompting, 28% of the respondents failed to provide a definite answer, which was highly comparable to the figure registered in 2003. This year, "lack of social/work experience" topped the list with 21% of respondents citing it. In the meantime, "proficiency in Chinese, English and Putonghua" and "work attitude" were also frequently mentioned, by 18% and 13% of the total sample respectively. Other qualities such as "social/interpersonal skills", "self-confidence", "academic and professional knowledge" as well as "commitment to society" were each cited by less than 10% of the total sample (Table 7).

 
 
Table 7 - Perceived Deficiencies among the University Graduates in Hong Kong
   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   % of total sample (Base = 1,025)   Frequency   % of total responses (Base = 2,144 responses from 1,492 respondents)   % of total sample (Base = 1,513) 
  Social / Work experience  8.8%   321   15.0%   21.2%** 
  Proficiency in Chinese, English and Putonghua  18.5%   267   12.5%   17.6% 
  Work attitude (e.g. serious, enthusiastic, diligent, responsible, motivated)  16.7%   192   9.0%   12.7%** 
  Social skills / interpersonal skills  9.6%   133   6.2%   8.8% 
  Self-confidence  3.5%   115   5.4%   7.6%** 
  Academic and professional knowledge  10.0%   109   5.1%   7.2%* 
  Commitment to society  3.2%   105   4.9%   6.9%** 
  Global prospect / foresight  2.2%   93   4.3%   6.1%** 
  Conduct, honesty  8.4%   85   4.0%   5.6%** 
  Critical thinking and problem-solving ability  9.6%   78   3.6%   5.2%** 
  Communication skills  3.7%   54   2.5%   3.6% 
  Creativity  1.4%   39   1.8%   2.6%* 
  Emotion stability  1.7%   35   1.6%   2.3% 
  Computer proficiency  0.4%   3   0.1%   0.2% 
  Others (please specify)  9.0%   95   4.5%   6.3%* 
  Don't know / hard to say  29.2%   419   19.6%   27.7% 
  Total     2,144   100.0%    
  Base  1,008   1,492       
  Missing case(s)  17   21       
 
 

F. Role Differentiation and Funding Cut of Local Universities

 
 

Three new questions were included in this year's survey to measure the public opinion towards the proposed role differentiation and the upcoming funding cut faced by the local universities. Findings revealed that 44% of the respondents showed support to the Government's proposal that some universities would remain comprehensive in both research and teaching while some would become specialized in pre-selected disciplines only, as opposed to 21% who did not support it. Meanwhile, 21% of the respondents did not provide a definite answer to this question and 14% opted for "half-half" (Table 8).

 
 
Table 8 - Opinion to the Proposed Role Differentiation among the Local Universities
   Frequency   Percentage 
  Very much agree  161   )   10.7%   ) 
  Quite agree  506   ) 667   33.6%   ) 44.3% 
  Half-half  203      13.5%    
  Quite disagree  247   )   16.4%   ) 
  Very much disagree  66   ) 313   4.4%   ) 20.8% 
  Don't know / hard to say  322      21.4%    
  Total  1,504      100.0%    
  Base  1,513          
  Missing case(s)  9          
 
 

As for the universities' funding cut, nearly two-thirds (65%) of the respondents said the cut should be of a lesser degree when compared to that of the government's general expenses. Only 8% thought the cut should be deeper. Besides, 12% opted for "the same" and 14% could not give a definite answer (Table 9). When asked whether the funding cut should be the same across the board, or at different levels across different universities? Results showed that over 60% of them (61%) preferred the latter - different levels of cut - while 29% believed it should be standardized across all universities. Another 10% failed to make a judgment on this aspect (Table 10).

 
 
Table 9 - The Degree of University Funding Cut as Compared to Government General Expenses
   Frequency   Percentage 
  Greater  126   8.4% 
  Lesser  983   65.4% 
  The Same  180   12.0% 
  Don't know / hard to say  215   14.3% 
  Total  1,504   100.0% 
  Base  1,513    
  Missing case(s)  9    
 
 
Table 10 - Preference for an Across-the-Board Cut or Different Levels of Cut
   Frequency   Percentage 
  Same across the board  440   29.2% 
  At different levels  910   60.5% 
  Don't know / hard to say  155   10.3% 
  Total  1,504   100.0% 
  Base  1,513    
  Missing case(s)  9    
 
 

G. Preference for University Graduates

 
 

The survey went on to study employers' preference when selecting university graduates. To begin with, all respondents were asked if they were involved in any recruitment process of new staff in performing their office duties. Results showed that 17% of the total sample had such authority in one way or another (Table 11).

 
 
Table 11 - Involvement in Recruitment of New Staff (Teachers included)
   2002 Survey   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   Percentage   Percentage   Frequency   Percentage 
  Yes  17.9%   18.9%   258   17.1% 
  No  82.1%   81.1%   1,252   82.9% 
  Total  100.0%   100.0%   1,510   100.0% 
  Base  1,029   1,025   1,513    
  Missing case(s)  3   8   3    
 
 

These respondents were further asked which university graduates they would prefer most when they looked for a new employee. Graduates of HKU topped the list once again this year, as chosen by 21% of these potential employers. On the other hand, graduates from CUHK, PolyU and HKUST were preferred by 16%, 14% and 7% of this sub-sample respectively. Meanwhile, 20% of these respondents said they had no particular preference and 18% failed to give a definite answer. As compared to the findings obtained in the 2003 survey, the respective positions of CityU and HKBU have swapped this year (Table 12). However, it should be noted that because of the small sub-sample base for this question, the sampling error could be as high as 3.1 percentage points. That means at 95% confidence level, the sampling error of percentage figures for this question could be as high as plus/minus 6.2 percentage points, or plus/minus 2.6 percentage points for figures expressed as percentages of the total sample.

 
 
Table 12 - Most Preferred University Graduates
   2002 Survey   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   % of total sample (Base = 1,029)   % of total sample (Base = 1,025)   Frequency   Percentage   % of total sample (Base = 1,513) 
  HKU   4.3%   4.3%   53   20.8%   3.5% 
  CUHK   3.3%   2.6%   39   15.5%   2.6% 
  PolyU  1.1%   2.2%   36   14.2%   2.4% 
  HKUST   2.0%   2.0%   17   6.7%   1.1% 
  CityU  0.6%   0.1%   4   1.7%   0.3% 
  Lingnan  0.0%   0.4%*   2   0.9%   0.1% 
  HKBU   0.5%   0.6%   1   0.6%   0.1%* 
  HKIEd  0.2%   0.0%   1   0.4%   0.1% 
  Other overseas universities  0.2%   0.3%   2   0.9%   0.1% 
  Others (please specify)  0.1%   0.2%   1   0.5%   0.1% 
  Don't know / hard to say  1.9%   2.1%   47   18.2%   3.1% 
  No preference  3.5%   3.5%   50   19.6%   3.3% 
  Total        255   100.0%    
  Valid Base  184   192   258       
  Missing case(s)  1   3   3       
 
 

Last of all, these respondents were asked to provide some reasons for their specific choices, same as previous years, "good performance of previous graduates" was most commonly cited (26% of sub-sample, or 4% of the total sample). Another 15% (i.e. 2% of the total sample) thought the graduates of their chosen university were well-equipped with job-related knowledge, whilst an equal proportion of them (15%, i.e. 2% of the total sample) preferred certain graduates simply due to the reputation of their university. Other than these, reasons like "good work attitude", "being diligent/motivated", and "good language ability" were mentioned by relatively fewer respondents. These results were fairly similar to those obtained last year (Table 13).

 
 
Table 13 - Reasons for Preferring Graduates of a Particular University
   2002 Survey   2003 Survey   2004 Survey 
   % of total sample (Base = 1,029)   % of total sample (Base = 1,025)   Frequency   % of total responses (Base = 204 responses from157 respondents)   % of total sample (Base = 1,513) 
  Good performance of previous graduates  6.6%   5.0%   53   25.8%   3.5% 
  Good knowledge in job-related areas  2.5%   2.4%   31#   15.4%   2.0% 
  Reputation  2.0%   2.0%   31#   15.0%   2.0% 
  Good work attitude  1.2%   1.2%   20   9.8%   1.3% 
  Diligent, motivated  1.2%   1.1%   14   6.9%   0.9% 
  Good language ability  1.0%   1.4%   10   4.8%   0.7% 
  Alumni  0.7%   0.7%   9   4.5%   0.6% 
  Good social relationship  0.5%   0.3%   4   1.9%   0.3% 
  Good connection with outside  0.6%   0.3%   2   1.1%   0.1% 
  Salary matched with abilities  0.1%   0.0%   2   1.1%   0.1% 
  Good leadership  0.4%   0.1%   1   0.7%   0.1% 
  Others (please specify)  0.6%   1.4%   24   11.6%   1.6% 
  Don't know / hard to say  0.2%   0.3%   3   1.4%   0.2% 
  Total        204   100.0%    
  Valid base  128   134   157       
  Missing case(s)  1   6   0       
# Due to the statistical weighting applied, these two reported figures have been rounded up and their actual adjusted values should be "31.4" and "30.6" respectively, hence giving rise to two different percentages subsequently.


本網站內一切內容與香港大學立場無關。民意專欄內的文章及民意平台內的言論及法律責任由作者自負,其餘內容則由民意研究計劃總監鍾庭耀博士負責。網站所載資料,包括問卷提問方式及各份研究報告,除非特別註明,知識產權皆由香港大學民意研究計劃擁有後,透過本網站向外全面開放。各界人士使用有關資料時,敬請註明出處。

香港大學民意研究計劃版權所有。 本網站由[email protected] 製作。最後更新 :  30/12/2011