London is Officially the Best Place for Students

London has been voted world’s best city for students in the QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2018.  This large-scale survey was conducted across 180 countries with responses from 54,000 students.  Tokyo came in second place, followed by Melbourne, Montreal and Paris respectively.  So what makes London the choicest destination for international students?

QS took six indicators into consideration, namely: university rankings, student mix, desirability, employer activity, affordability and student view.  While London did not score highly in all of these areas, it did move up two places from its third place ranking in 2017 to come out on top overall.  Let’s take a look at those categories in more detail and see how London fared.

University Rankings

This score considers the number of institutions in a city and their collective performance.  London came first place overall in this category; there are about 50 higher education institutions, many of which are world-class e.g. Imperial College and the London School of Economics.

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Employer Activity

QS wanted to find out how reputable higher education institutions were in each city, so employers were surveyed both in the UK and abroad;  moreover, data from the World Bank about youth employment rates was considered.  London was pipped to the post by Tokyo, coming a respectable second in this category.  This suggests that the possibility for graduates to be employed might be higher than other cities in the survey.

Student Mix

Factors such as total student population, tolerance and inclusion were considered here.  London is known for being a diverse and cosmopolitan city and scored well here – 7th place.

Student View

Students surveyed reported an overall positive experience of their time in London and a relatively high proportion either stayed, or expressed a desire to stay, in London once they had graduated.  This meant that London ranked 13th overall in this category.


To evaluate how desirable cities are to students, QS examined a number of factors including safety, pollution and corruption and London came out in 18th position.


I think you can probably guess that London fared badly in this one.  The sky-high cost of living and tuition fees pushed London down to 113th position in the rankings for affordability.

So there you have it.  Despite the high cost of living, London still swept to victory in the final ratings.


Download full infographic here

Worlds Best Student City Infographic


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A leading ‘English as a foreign language’​ school in London helping you meet your learning objectives in the shortest time.

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