The results are in! Montreal is the best city in the world for students, according to the latest rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
Concordia's urban home jumped six spots to claim first place, ahead of Paris, London, Seoul, Melbourne, Berlin and Tokyo.
As the university’s president Alan Shepard stated in the Montreal Gazette, the city's strong showing starts with Canada. The country's education lure is no mystery.
“Our universities do well in international rankings,” he says. “We have the lowest cost of living and highest quality of life among G7 countries. The QS ranking reaffirms this.”
Matthew Stiegemeyer, director of student recruitment, says he’s not surprised by Montreal’s rise to Best Student City. “Certainly the increased interest we’re seeing from applicants suggests that word is getting out,” he says.
It’s the fourth year in a row that Montreal has climbed in the rankings. In fact, four of the five Canadian cities on the list have moved up. QS singles out “recent political events” in the United States and the United Kingdom as a contributing factor in Canada’s growing desirability as a student destination.
That makes sense to Stiegemeyer. “I think if you’re an international student looking for a welcoming place to be, you’re looking for a city that embraces a diverse population,” he says.
Third-year English literature major Arielle George, originally from the Washington, DC, area, says the welcoming atmosphere is what convinced her to move to Montreal.
“When I first visited campus, I felt the students showed exactly what Concordia offers: a very diverse, open-minded, open-hearted space,” she says.
QS’s Best Student City rankings also reference Montreal’s affordability and a “recent renaissance” as key components of the city’s success this year.
According to QS, nabbing the top spot 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.’”
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