In the latest QS Best Student Cities Ranking, two of Australia’s cities made it into the top ten. Melbourne placed third, after London and Japan, while Sydney is in ninth. Aside from these two cities, the rest of the Top 50 includes Brisbane at 22, Canberra at 23, Adelaide in 26, and Perth at 41.
This global ranking surveyed 87,000 students and used a variety of measuring tools. Among their criteria includes the quality of life index or the “desirability”. The Director of Research at QS Ben Sowter noted that Australia did considerably high in these criteria.
“Six of the world’s 30 highest-performing cities for our Desirability indicator are Australian: a record bettered by no other nation,” he said.
The rankings also put Melbourne at the top when it comes to student mix. Aside from calculating diversity and student to population ratio, these criteria also reflect tolerance and inclusion. This shows that the city has an accommodating and hospitable environment that is favorable for those with different cultural backgrounds. In a 2019 survey, it found that 81% of international students preferred safe and welcoming cities, which works in Australia’s favor.
Other criteria involved in this survey is student voice, employer activity, and affordability. Although Melbourne came in third for student voice and Sydney ranked second for employer activity, the survey notes that all Australian cities did poorly on affordability.
Unfortunately, Australia is still considered quite expensive when compared to countries like Japan and Germany, both of which are popular student destinations. Cost of living and tuition fees there is comparable to that of the US and UK.
On the other hand, the quality of education and student experience in Australia more than makes up for the high cost of living.