India missing from QS World’s 100 Best Student Cities ranking as Asia rises


No place in India is in the top 100 of the Best Student Cities Ranking 2023 prepared by global higher education consultancy QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) and that shows Asia growing as a destination of higher education.

Mumbai, India’s highest-ranked student city, is ranked 103rd rank by scoring high for affordability but it struggled on metrics for student mix and desirability. Delhi, the second best Indian city, was ranked 114th, down from 110 last year.

India doubled its representation with two new entries: Chennai (125th) and Delhi (129th).

“International students represent only a small fraction of the overall student body. According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2018-19, the number of International students enrolled in Indian universities was just 47,427. India seeks to attract 200,000 international students, more than four times the current total, by the end of 2023, a goal which may need to be reviewed as it was set prior to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which has deeply affected international students mobility,” said QS.

London took the top spot, extending its lead for the fourth year. Seoul climbed from third to second, gaining from its top-quality universities and employment prospects. Munich, Germany, take the third spot.

QS tracked 140 world cities, of which 58 improved their ranking, six remained stable, 46 declined and 30 were new entries. Fourteen Asian cities ranked in the top 100 and five in the top 20.

“Seoul is its standout location, primarily thanks to the concentration of quality it boasts in its universities. However, this is not exclusive to the South Korean capital. In fact, five of the world’s top-10 cities in this metric are based in Asia, highlighting the continent broadly as a bastion of higher education excellence. Combine this with outstanding career opportunities in its metropolitan hubs and we see an exceptional region in which to study and live,” said Ben Sowter, senior vice president at QS.

QS said world cities were becoming less affordable for students by its measures, with just under 90 per cent declining.

The QS Best Student Cities Ranking provides students with independent data regarding a range of factors relevant to their study decisions: affordability, quality of life, the standard of university, and the views of previous students that have studied in that destination.

The six metric groups that QS uses to rank cities ranking include range of highly-ranked institutions in a city, desirability to live, affordability, employer activity, student mix and student voice.

QS ranks cities with a population of at least 250,000, and with at least two universities placing in the QS World University Rankings. The ranking offers a powerful lens into the sentiments of both prospective and former students, with over 98,000 survey responses contributing to the Desirability (prospective students) and Student Voice (former students) indexes.

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