Greater Montréal: Best student city in the Americas

December 18, 2015

According to the QS Best Student Cities 2016 index, Montréal now ranks 1st in the Americas and 7th worldwide among the best urban destinations for international students. For the first time ever, Montréal beat Boston, grabbing the top spot as the best student city in North America. Greater Montréal retains a strong position among the world’s best cities for students along with other world-class cities such as Paris, Tokyo, Boston and London.

Excellent performance in all five categories

The QS Best Student Cities index ranks each city based on a range of indicators grouped into five categories. Greater Montréal scored very well in each of them compared to other cities in the Americas:

  • Desirability: Greater Montréal ranks 10th in the world (3rd in North America) in this category, which considers criteria such as cost of living, safety, pollution and corruption.
  • Student mix: Greater Montréal ranks 3rd in the world (1st in the Americas). This category looks at the student make-up of each city, tolerance and inclusion, and the proportion of local and international students. The more international students, the higher the score.
  • Employer activity: Thanks to its university research investments and the reputation of its researchers, Greater Montréal now ranks 27th in the world (1st in Canada). This category, based on QS’s graduate employer survey, provides an indication of which cities are most highly regarded by employers.
  • Affordability: Even though it ranks 28th worldwide, behind emerging Asian and European cities, Greater Montréal is still the most affordable region for students in the Americas.
  • University rankings: Based on the collective performance of all universities in the region, Greater Montréal’s university ecosystem ranks 18th in the world (1st in Canada).

Increasingly fierce international competition

In addition to being recognized as the best student city in the Americas, Greater Montréal is also the best city in the world for foreign students, according to China’s Bank of Communications Sea Turtle Index 2013. Current success, however, is no guarantee of future performance. Competition is heating up as Asian and European cities are rapidly emerging as global university hubs. Given that trend, it is now more important than ever that we focus on helping our universities thrive.

That means providing them with more funding for operations and research and working on attracting and retaining international students in Greater Montréal. Doing so would ensure that Greater Montréal’s reputation as a world-class university hub keeps growing despite increasingly fierce global competition.

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