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QS Best Student Cities 2016 – Out Now!

QS Best Student Cities 2016 – Out Now! main image

As Paris, and the rest of the world, continues to respond to the recent terrorist attacks, the French capital retains its position at the top of QS’s annual index of the world’s best student cities.

Released today, the 2016 edition of the QS Best Student Cities index has been extended to feature 75 cities (previously 50), highlighting even more leading international study destinations across the globe.

This is the fourth consecutive year in which Paris has topped the list, thanks to its impressive number of internationally ranked universities, strong reputation among graduate employers, high quality of life, and relatively low tuition fees.

Melbourne holds onto second place, with fellow Australian city Sydney close behind in fourth position. Following the continued progress of its leading universities in the global rankings, Singapore gains nine places this year to rank sixth. Berlin also gains ground, climbing six places to rank ninth, and – largely thanks to the free tuition offered at public universities in Germany – receives the strongest ‘affordability’ score in the top 10.

Top 10 Cities for Students in 2016

Based on the QS Best Student Cities 2016

 

Overall rank

University rankings (score out of 100)

Student mix 
(score out of 100)

Desirability 
(score out of 100)

Employer activity (score out of 100)

Affordability 
(score out of 100)

1

95.9

79.7

80.1

86.5

61.4

2

67

100

91.7

90.5

48.8

3

80.6

50.3

97.8

100

62.7

4

62.9

94.4

100

86.7

44

5

100

90.9

82.8

95.2

15.3

6

64

81.1

91.3

87.1

56

7

60.9

94.1

91.4

74.1

56.8

8

71.2

78.2

83.7

82.9

56.7

9

48.3

74.1

91.6

73

81.6

10

87.4

64.2

67.7

91.9

55.7

 

The ranking is compiled based on 18 indicators grouped into five key categories: university rankings, student mix, desirability, employer activity, and affordability. The results are presented in an interactive table, which can be sorted to show cities’ performance overall, and in each category.

With the published tables extended this year to show an additional 25 entries, there are plenty of newcomers to the list. These include New Zealand’s Christchurch (47th), Canadian capital Ottawa (49th), Portuguese capital Lisbon (52nd) and Swedish city Gothenburg (54th). Also debuting this year are Taiwan’s Hsinchu (55th), the UK’s Nottingham and Newcastle (57th and 67th), the US’s Atlanta (58th), and Italian capital Rome (61st).

Additional first appearances are made by Daejeon, Warsaw, Sharjah, Gold Coast, Valencia, Baltimore, San Diego, Brno and Monterrey. Meanwhile a number of cities re-enter the index after one or more years of absence; these returnees include Kuala Lumpur, Lyon, Toulouse, Oslo, Sao Paulo, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Though the US is no longer featured in the top 10, with Boston falling to 13th place this year, it is the most-featured country in the index, with 11 representatives. The UK follows with eight entries, while Australia has seven.

Published annually, the QS Best Student Cities aims to provide useful insights for prospective international students and their families, drawing on a wide range of metrics to assess cities’ performance on a variety of factors – including the quality of the universities on offer, the size and diversity of the student community, the financial picture when fees and living costs are combined, and the overall desirability of each location.

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Written by Laura Bridgestock
The former editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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