MAGICAL Melbourne has been named Australia’s best city for international students and second best in the world ahead of Tokyo, Sydney and London.
Paris came top in the QS Best Student Cities Index for the fourth year in a row, which was compiled before last month’s terrorist attacks.
The ratings measure cities on their quality of universities, affordability, lifestyle, employment prospects and student community.
Seven Australian cities made it into the top 75 best student cities this year with Sydney coming fourth, Canberra (17), Brisbane (18), Adelaide (26), Perth (35) and Gold Coast (69).
Melbourne received a perfect score (100/100) for student mix which looks at city’s student population, levels of social inclusion, and tolerance.
The only factor Australian cities tended to stumble on was affordability, due to relatively high tuition fees and high living costs.
Indian student Dylan Fernandes said he loved studying in Melbourne.
“Global networking is so important for young professionals, and I’ve met people from all over the world in Melbourne,” he said.
“The night life is also brilliant.
“Even if you just want to take an evening stroll by the beach it’s amazing.
Melbourne has been celebrated for its student population, levels of social inclusion, and tolerance.
“The only drawback is the high cost of tuition fees and costs of living.”
Professor Susan Elliott, deputy provost and deputy vice-chancellor international at the University of Melbourne, said the index underlines just how world-class Melbourne is.
“The rankings show that these students, from hundreds of different countries, feel welcome when coming to Australia and supported in their growth as students and individuals,” she said.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said there were more than 30,000 international students in Melbourne.
“These students come from all over the world, and we want to make sure they enjoy our great city and experience everything it has to offer,” Cr Doyle said.
Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, said it was not hard to see why Melbourne was a true international education destination.
“The benefits to Victoria continue long after a student goes home as they recommend Melbourne to their friends as a great place to study, return later in life for family holidays, and invest in business ventures in a city they know,” Mr Herbert said.
Seven Melbourne universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, the highest-ranked of which is the University of Melbourne at 42nd in the world — second only to Australian National University on the Australian leaderboard.
To be included in the index, a city must be home to at least 250,000 inhabitants and two or more universities on the QS world university rankings. QS considered 112 such cities.
The US is the most represented country with 11 cities on the list, followed by the UK (eight) and Australia (seven).
THE TOP 10
* Paris (1)
* Melbourne (2)
* Tokyo (7)
* Sydney (4)
* London (3)
* Singapore (15)
* Montreal (8)
* Hong Kong (5)
* Berlin (16)
* Seoul (10)
* Last year’s rankings in brackets.