British firm Quacquarelli Symonds Limited (QS), which specializes in higher education information, announced its Best Student Cities in the World 2012 ranking in February. Montréal was ranked 10th in the world, 2nd in North America and 1st in Canada, outranking cities like Barcelona, Tokyo, New York and Amsterdam.
QS only scored cities with over 250,000 inhabitants and with at least two universities listed in the QS World University Rankings. Montréal is home to three such universities—McGill University (17th in the world), Université de Montréal (137th in the world) and Concordia University (501st in the world). It should be noted that Université du Québec is assigned to Québec City, where its head office is located, and is ranked 451st in the world. Other ranking criteria are the total number of students, the number of international students, quality and the cost of living. Domestic and international employer opinions of the value of a city’s university degrees also carry weight.
One of the top scores for quality of living
According to QS, Montréal is considered the cultural capital of Canada and one of the world’s most liveable cities. The evaluation mentions that “This French-speaking city has experienced mass immigration from all over the world in the past decades, giving it a distinctly hybrid culture. The site of several major international festivals, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the world's largest comedy festival, Just for Laughs, Montreal also has a world-renowned indie music scene. It is also one of the three UNESCO design capitals of the world.”
Montréal also received one of the best scores for quality of living and a very good score for student mix. The evaluation also mentions that “while tuition fees for international students are costly compared to the cheapest destinations such as continental Europe, they still compare favourably to those charged at many top universities in the UK, US and Australia. And for cost of living, Montreal is the best-value destination in the top ten behind Boston and Berlin.”
QS Best Student Cities in the World 2012