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QS: Paris, Melbourne, Tokyo best student cities

Paris has been named the top city in the world for students for the fourth year in a row in the QS Best Student Cities 2016 rankings, which judge destinations based on their universities’ rankings, student mix, desirability, employer activity and affordability.

Paris has been named the best city in the world for students for the fourth year running by QS. Photo: Flickr/jarnold221.Paris has been named the best city in the world for students for the fourth year running by QS. Photo: Flickr/jarnold221.

"Affordability is a pretty important influencer for many international students”

Melbourne held onto the second position in the table, while Tokyo has come in third, followed by Sydney.

London fell to fifth place in this year’s rankings, falling two places since last year and three since the 2014 rankings, despite being ranked most highly in the university rankings category.

“It is principally our affordability metric which has dulled London’s edge”

“It is principally our affordability metric which has dulled London’s edge in these rankings,” Ben Sowter, head of research at QS, told The PIE News.

Although Paris came out on top overall with a total score of 404 out of 500, it didn’t claim the top spot in any of the judging categories.

Of the 75 cities listed, Sydney was named the most desirable destination, while Kuala Lumpur was ranked the most affordable. Melbourne ranked first in student mix, and Tokyo was found to have the most employer activity.

Were it not for the high cost of living, London would have been the “clear winner” in the 2016 rankings, Sowter said, but it was held back by its dismal affordability score. It was deemed to be the most expensive city of the entire cohort, scoring just 15.3 out of 100, behind Los Angeles.

“Sadly, affordability is a pretty important influencer for many international students and we believe merits inclusion,” commented Sowter.

Sowter added that London and Paris may also be popular due to a “bucket list appeal” for those living outside of the region, which “few global cities can match”.

Meanwhile, Tokyo’s affordability has contributed to its rise up the table from seventh last year, to third on the back of another big ten spot jump last year.

Sowter added, “Part of the rise of Tokyo comes from the fact that there are two universities in the rankings within the Tokyo metropolitan area which had previously not been considered.”

“Including them has appropriately strengthened Tokyo’s performance in both the rankings and student mix indicators.”

This year, the rankings have been extended from 50 cities to include 75, but 122 cities were looked at in the analysis. Also climbing the table this year was Berlin, which rose to ninth place, from 16th last year.

The QS Best Student Cities top 10 are:
1) Paris
2) Melbourne
3) Tokyo
4) Sydney
5) London
6) Singapore
7) Montreal
8) Hong Kong
9) Berlin
10) Seoul

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