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Vancouver named one of the top 10 most desirable cities in the world for students

Ainsley Smith May 09, 2018 9:15 am 2,033

Vancouver continues to be recognized as a global leader in education.

The fifth edition of the QS Best Student Cities Ranking, which ranks the best cities in the world for international students, was released Tuesday by analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

London, England is now the top student city in the world, climbing two places from last year’s rankings, as a result of increasingly positive responses to QS’s student survey, which asks students about the quality of experience in a city, and their willingness to remain there after graduating.

This year’s overall worldwide ranking saw Vancouver claim the 17th spot out of 100 cities in the world (which is actually down seven spots from 2017).

However, despite the drop, Vancouver still deserves some serious attention for being named the 9th most desirable student city in the world.


QS uses six indicator groups to compile the ranking, each analyzing a different aspect of concern to prospective students.

  1. Rankings
  2. Student Mix
  3. Desirability
  4. Employer Activity
  5. Affordability
  6. Student View

Here’s how Vancouver scored:

Number of universities ranked by QS  2
Highest-ranked institution University of British Columbia (51st in the world)
Population 2,313,000
Average international fees (at ranked unis) US $25,200
Desirability rank 9th
Employer Activity rank 28th
Affordability rank 103rd
Student View rank  34th
Student Mix rank  93rd
Overall Ranking  17th

A big attraction to Vancouver for international students is that it’s home to two universities featured in the QS World University Rankings of 2018.

This includes the University of British Columbia which was ranked as the 51st highest-ranked university in the world.

Vancouver is also home to Simon Fraser University, which landed the 245th spot, tying with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

According to QS, what makes Vancouver a great place for students is how much the city has to offer, which is why it made it claimed a top 10 position for the Desirability indicator.

The various surrounding mountains, beaches, and forests act as more than just backdrops to the city, they provide students with endless year-round recreational activities.

QS also highlighted that the array of nightlife, theatre and music options in the city – which is everything you’d expect from one of Canada’s most loved cities.

Two other Canadian cities made it onto the top 20, with Montreal taking 4th place and Toronto taking 13th.

You can find the full student cities ranking report here.

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