London: Montreal has surprised the international student community as the Canadian city has ended Paris’s five-year run as the world’s best student city, according to global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds. After losing the title, Paris, the capital of France, slips to second rank. London rises to third position from fifth last year. The fifth edition of its QS Best Student Cities ranking, published today (15 February 2017), expands to enumerate the world’s top 100 urban student destinations.
QS mentioned that Montreal’s success is the latest of a series of propitious signs for a city beginning to escape a period of economic stagnation, following positive growth forecasts for 2017, and the recent announcement of its selection as the ‘World’s Most Intelligent City’. Its first-place ranking also reflects a series of positive performances from Canadian cities: four of the country’s five ranked cities improve their position.
Paris falls to second place, due to reduced rank in the Affordability and Desirability parameters.
The results suggest that UK cities remain excellent study destinations in the face of Brexit, with rises in QS’s Affordability indicator a major contributor to all eight of its ranked cities improving their rank. Berlin jumps to 6th position as it was ranked at 9th last year.
Most of cities in the USA have seen drop in the QS Best Student Cities 2017 ranking. Affordability remains an overhang on American cities. Boston (8th) breaks into the top ten while ten of its twelve ranked cities drop in the ranking table.
In Australia, high cost-of-living and tuition fees are main concern points as all of its seven ranked cities see a fall. Sydney plummets from fourth to thirteenth while Melbourne falls from second to fifth.
Seoul has emerged as Asia’s best student city, recording a six-place jump to rank 4th. The other top ten student cities are as followed: Tokyo (7th), Munich (9th), and Vancouver (10th).
QS informed that the Best Student Cities ranking 2017 is based on their performance in six composite indicators: Affordability, Desirability, Student Mix, Rankings, Employer Activity, and, for the first time, Student View. QS said that this year’s ranking features a Student View indicator for the first time, alongside the five used in previous editions.
Over 18,000 students responded to QS’s inaugural survey for this ranking, providing input about their own student experiences, and, for prospective students, the relative desirability of a city. Based on a combination of inputs including the proportion of respondents that wished to stay in their city of study after graduation, the quality of social and cultural experience offered, and levels of tolerance and inclusion, Ottawa was ranked the leading city for the Student View indicator, closely followed by Prague and Shanghai.