The 2017 QS Best Student Cities Index has been unveiled, and Montréal is at the very top. The index, published by the Quacquarelli Symonds Institute, lists the 100 best cities in which to study, as ranked by international university students. Montréal finished ahead of Paris, London, Seoul and Melbourne.
Montréal is number one on the list published by Britain-based research institute Quacquarelli Symonds, which is drawn up based on a survey of students and graduates from all over the world. In announcing the results, Quacquarelli Symonds noted the multicultural, bilingual, student-centred and inclusive character of Canada’s “cultural capital.”
One reason why Montréal rose to the top of the QS Index is its fifth-place ranking in a new indicator, Student View, which looks at factors such as a city’s social, arts and cultural offering, its degree of tolerance and inclusion, and students’ desire to stay in the city after graduation.
In addition, Montréal has progressed year after year in the Affordability category, which measures tuition fees and cost of living in the cities studied. Montréal also scored well on Student Mix, an indicator that looks at the proportion of students in a city’s population, and Desirability, which measures a city’s attractiveness according to students as well as their parents.
Quacquarelli Symonds also acknowledged Montréal’s recent economic gains: in the Employer Activity category, the city now ranks 16th. This metric measures the popularity of a city’s graduates among domestic and international employers, as well as the employment rate.
Atop the world, Canadian and North American rankings
Montréal knocked Paris out of the number-one spot on the QS Best Student Cities Index. The French capital had topped the list in the first four editions of the British research institute’s survey. Montréal had placed seventh on the 2016 Index.
Among Canadian cities that made the Top 100 list, Montréal outranks Vancouver (10th place), Toronto (11th), Ottawa (26th), and Québec City (72th).
In North America, Montréal finished ahead of Boston (9th position), New York City (19th), San Francisco (28th), and Washington (37th).
Quacquarelli Symonds establishes its annual index by studying cities with populations above 250,000 that are home to at least two universities featured in the institute’s World University Rankings.
The results of the 2017 edition of Quacquarelli Symonds’ Best Student Cities Index confirm perceptions of Montréal on the part of international students at Polytechnique Montréal enrolled in undergraduate engineering programs as well as graduate studies. During the 2015–2016 academic year, 2,211 of Polytechnique’s 8,216 students (or 26.9%) were of international origin.
For 2015–2016, international students at Polytechnique made up 19.3% of undergraduates, 44.7% of students doing research-based master’s degrees, 24.6% of students in professional master’s programs, and 53.1% of PhD students.