London has been voted the world’s best student city in the QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2018. The survey, based on the responses of 54,000 students from 180 countries, sees London climbing 10 places since last year and replacing Montreal at the top.
In second place is Tokyo, especially appreciated for its employment opportunities, while Melbourne gets the third place, up two from last year, and ranked first for tolerance and inclusion.
“[London] remains one of the world’s most diverse, cosmopolitan, tolerant cities”
Montreal, still first for general student experience, slipped three places to fourth, followed by Paris in fifth. The rest of the top 10 includes another three European cities – Munich, Berlin and Zurich – then Sydney and Seoul.
London’s ascent is due to especially high marks for ‘employer activity’, the possibility to find a job after graduation, and for ‘student view’, a metric that signals a positive student experience and a wish to stay on after graduation.
This managed to outweigh London’s poor performance in the ‘Affordability Rank’, where it ranks 113. In the top 10, only Sydney, at 114, did worse in affordability.
QS spokesperson Jack Moran said students remain enthused about their experience in the British capital.
“We’re seeing that prospective students are more likely to want to study in London. We’re seeing that the quality of life on offer there is enviable,” he explained.
“And we’re seeing that it remains one of the world’s most diverse, cosmopolitan, tolerant cities – receiving the world’s seventh-highest score for Student Mix.”
The best student city in the US, Boston, sits in 13th place – a fall from 8th position last year.
“Many US cities have always struggled in the Affordability indicator – the strength of the dollar and exorbitant tuition fees mean that American cities are likely to thrive in spite of, not because of, their affordability,” Moran explained.
Some US cities aren’t scoring well in Employer Activity, Moran added, and scores on Student Mix – which measures the diversity of the student body and the city’s tolerance and inclusion – may worsen in the future.
“We know that the US is losing its market share of international students, with the number of F1 study visas granted to US students down 17% in 2017,” Moran said.
“Policy initiatives like that undertaken last year by the Californian state government – to cap the number of non-state students they admit at 18% at five state campuses – may lead to more significant changes in future years,” he concluded.