To ascertain the best student city, QS compiles data on five key pillars: university rankings, student mix, quality of living, employer activity and affordability.
By these criteria London places third, behind only Paris in first and Melbourne in second.
Ben Sowter, head of research at QS, said that London’s score was lop-sided and that affordability was a major concern. Renting properties continues to be a problem for students studying in the capital, with average rent now over £1,400 according to data from HomeLet.
On the other hand, getting a graduate job in London is easier than in competitor locations. Sowter did however praise the capital for its performace on other criteria:
London is an amazing city for students and the only city in the world to come top in 2 out of 5 of our indicator categories – rankings and employer activity.
However, affordability is a key factor for many international students and thus for us here as well, and perhaps due to the relative strength of the UK economy, more than half of London’s dropped points are in this category. London is also mid-table rather than world-leading in some of the new factors such as safety and pollution.
While London scored 100/100 points for employer activity and university rankings, it received only 71 for desirability and 28 for affordability. The other UK cities in the top 50 of the report were Edinburgh and Manchester. Coventry qualified, but had dropped from the best 50.
To be included in the ranking, each city must have a population of over 250,000 and be home to at least two ranked institutions in the QS World University Rankings. 116 cities in the world qualify on this basis, 50 have been ranked.