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Johannesburg ranked in latest QS Best Student Cities ranking

Montreal takes number-one spot for first time #BestCities

London, 15th February 2017: Johannesburg has placed for the first time in the fifth edition of the QS Best Student Cities ranking. The table, released by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, compilers of the QS World University Rankings, sees Paris lose the number-one position for the first time since the ranking began in 2012. Montreal replaces it at the top of the ranking, which ranks the world’s top 100 cities.

Key findings include:

  •      Johannesburg ranks 84th of 100;
  •      Cities were ranked according to performance in six composite indicators: Desirability, Rankings, Student Mix, Employer Activity, Affordability, and, for the first time, Student View;
  •      Johannesburg is one of the world’s cheapest cities for students, reflecting its status as one of Africa’s most affordable major cities. It ranks eleventh for Affordability. Affordability measures the cost of living in a city, based on a range of factors like tuition fees and the cost of key consumer goods;
  •      However, Johannesburg is then brought down by its score for Employer Activity, which measures the likelihood that a global employer will seek to recruit the graduates of a particular city’s universities: it ranks 100th for this indicator;
  •       It ranks 88th for Student Mix, which measures the levels of diversity, tolerance, and inclusion in a city;
  •       QS report that Johannesburg places 89th for their quality-of-life metric, Desirability. A city’s rank here is based on, among other things, the levels of pollution, corruption, and safety there.

QS’s Student View indicator is based on the survey responses of 18,000 students worldwide. Students were asked to name the city in which they would most like to study, their experience studying in a particular city, and their intention to remain there post-graduation. Only 22% of surveyed graduates expressed willingness to stay in Johannesburg after their study period ended.

Across the rest of the world, highlights include:

  •      Paris only falls one place to second, while London rises two places to third;
  •      UK cities perform generally well, implying that its cities remain excellent student destinations in the face of the nation’s impending exit from the European Union;
  •       Boston is the US’s best student city, placing 8th.
QS Best Student Cities 2017: Top 10
RANK 2017 RANK 2016 CITY
1 7 Montreal
2 1 Paris
3 5 London
4 10 Seoul
5 2 Melbourne
6 9 Berlin
7 3 Tokyo
8 13 Boston
9 11 Munich
10 13 Vancouver
© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2017