The Best Student Cities in the World

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Where do you think the best city to study is? Are certain places a student's paradise and others a student's hell? Well, a new survey hoping to answer those questions has placed London as the second best city in the world for students. Only Paris beat the UK capital after cities were judged on affordability, quality of life and the number and reputation of their universities.

Higher Education organisation QS carried out the survey predominantly with international students in mind, with hundreds of thousands currently considering where to study. Over 500 cities were considered, with anywhere with a population of over 250,000 and at least two universities qualifying.

The sheer number of London's top quality universities (think Imperial, UCL, King's, SOAS) gave it the edge over Paris, but the city was let down by being far more expensive than the French capital. Whilst international students in London will expect to pay up to £20,000 each year in tuition fees, that figure drops to just £1,000 at Paris universities. Ben Sowter, the lead researcher, explained:

"While high tuition fees make London a far more expensive proposition than Paris, London's array of world-class universities means it is worth the investment for many student."

Quality of Life

As well as the cities' institutions, the survey also took into account the quality of life for students in the cities themselves. Things like crime levels, student mix and cost of living were all examined, and, unsurprisingly, both London and Paris scored very highly. However, Liam Burns, president of the National Union of Students, had a word of warning:

"If London is to continue to be such an attractive place to study we need to see urgent action to address the spiralling cost of student living. It poses a real threat to the affordability of studying in the capital and therefore to the future sustainability of this world renowned status."

Similarly, he was quick to boast of the benefits of British campuses, reaffirming that:

"We should remember that studying in a big city is the right choice for some, but it's not for everyone. We are proud of our campuses across the UK in offering a range of learning and living environments for those not lured in by the bright lights."

Below you can see the top ten student cities in the world. Of the top 50 published, there were three other UK cities included, with Manchester coming 35th, Birmingham 47th and Glasgow 50th.

Top 10 Student Cities

  1. Paris, France
  2. London, UK
  3. Boston, US
  4. Melbourne, Australia
  5. Vienna, Austria
  6. Sydney, Australia
  7. Zurich, Switzerland
  8. Berlin, Germany
  9. Dublin, Ireland
10. Montreal, Canada

Image: ©VisitBritain/ James McCormick

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