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Montreal named world’s best student city

Published: 15 February 2017
Montreal has ended Paris’s five-year stint as the world’s best student destination, according to global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The fifth edition of the QS Best Student Cities ranking, featuring a ‘Student View’ indicator for the first time, provides further evidence of Canada’s increasing popularity and desirability as a student destination, particularly following recent political events in the United States and United Kingdom. It also underlines Canada’s strong position as it seeks to, by 2022, double its total of inbound international students.
Montreal’s success is the latest of a series of propitious signs for a city beginning to escape a period of economic stagnation, following positive growth forecasts for 2017, citywide initiatives designed to encourage entrepreneurship, and the recent announcement of its selection as the ‘World’s Most Intelligent City’. However, it is not only Montreal’s world-leading position that provides evidence of Canada’s status as a top-class international student nation. Other highlights for Canada include:
  • Vancouver (10th) also places in the global top ten, while Toronto closely follows it in 11th;
  • Four of Canada’s five ranked cities have risen up the overall ranking this year;
  • The overall Canadian improvement is predominantly due to increases in QS’sAffordability indicator, which measures a combination of tuition fees and cost-of-living in each of the 125 cities for which QS conducted research;
  • Ottawa is ranked the world’s number-one student city according to the 18,000 international students surveyed by QS for the ‘Student View’ indicator, which accounts for numerous factors, including tolerance & inclusion, willingness to remain in a city of study post-graduation, and a city’s social and cultural offerings;
  • The ‘Student View’ indicator also sees Montreal in fifth place
  • Toronto is ranked the world’s number-one city for Desirability, another composite indicator from which the overall ranking is constructed. The indicator includes, among other metrics, levels of pollution, corruption, and safety in a city;
  • All five Canadian cities are among the world’s twenty most-desirable cities, with Vancouver 6th and Montreal 9th, and four of its five cities have improved theirDesirability scores;
  • Montreal’s recent economic progress is evidenced by its 11-place improvement in rank for QS’s Employer Activity metric. It now ranks 16th worldwide for this composite indicator, which measures how favourably employers both international and domestic perceive the graduates of a city’s universities, and city unemployment rates.
  • The global top ten can be found below:
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

The full ranking is hosted here, while the full methodology can be found here.
For interviews with QS’s analysts, please contact:
Simona Bizzozero
Head of Public Relations
QS Quacquarelli Symonds
simona [at] 
pressoffice [at]
+ 44(0)7880620856 
+44 (0) 2072847248
Jack N. Moran
Public Relations Executive
QS Quacquarelli Symonds
jack [at] (
Notes for Editors
QS Quacquarelli Symonds
Founded in 1990, QS Quacquarelli Symonds is the leading global provider of higher education and careers information, independent research and solutions. Its activities span across 50 countries, working with over 2,000 international universities and business schools. QS’s mission is to enable motivated people around the world to fulfil their potential by fostering international mobility, educational achievement, and career development. QS provides services at each key career stage; first degree, Masters, PhD, MBA, and Executive-level.
On Twitter: #QSWUR #QSBestCities
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