QS Best Student Cities Methodology

The QS Best student Cities ranking showcases the best urban destinations for international students, based on a diverse range of indicators grouped into five key categories .
To be considered for inclusion, each city must have a population of over 250,000, and be home to at least two universities featured in the most late QS World University Rankings®. For population metrics, the metropolitan area is used where possible. current calculations suggest that 164 cities qualify for retainer .
The indicators used to assess each category are outlined below. Unless otherwise stated, the indicators are weighted evenly within each category. The six categories are besides given adequate weight when calculating the overall order of the index .

University rankings

This class aims to reflect the collective performance of a city ’ sulfur universities in the QS World University Rankings®. The indicators reflect the magnetism of the large numbers of universities found in big cities, equally well as lend realization to the locations of the world ’ s elite institutions.

Any modify weights are specified in brackets, e.g. [ x2 ] = weighted double .
Institution count [x2]
A score based on a straight count of the count of graded institutions in the city .
Indexed score [x3]
This index considers the collective performance of all institutions in the city. Points are awarded for each mental hospital depending on which ranking image they fall into :

Range Points
1-10 100
11-25 50
26-50 30
51-100 20
101-200 10
201-300 5
301-400 3
401-500 2
501+ 1

Top score
This score is based on the position of the highest-ranked institution in the city .

Student mix

This class is designed to look at the student makeup of the city, both overall and from an international position. Cities with higher proportions of students are probably to be better equipped with the facilities students need, while areas with high numbers of international students are more likely to be well-prepared to welcome flush more .
Student population
A childlike score based on the number of students at rank institutions as a proportion of the city ’ randomness population .
International volume [x2]
A score based on the total total of international students enrolled at rate institutions .
International ratio [x2]
A sexual conquest based on the entire total of external students as a proportion of all students studying at rank institutions in the city .
Tolerance & inclusion [x2]
This indicator reflects the importance for many external students of choosing a sketch environment which is probably to be hospitable to their own cultural background, life style and identity. This score is based on the Social Progress Index, which tracks indicators by country on a diverseness of aspects, including tolerance and inclusion .


This class aims to reflect the overall desirability of each address. While students may be seeking stimulate cities rich in opportunity, they ( and their parents ) are besides probably to be concerned about the base hit of the vicinity. A broad range of metrics is considered to reflect these divers requirements .
Economist Liveability Index [x5]
A score based on the results of the Economist Intelligence Unit ‘s Liveability Index .
GaWC+ score [x2]
A score based on the Globalisation and World Cities index ( GaWC ), compiled at the University of Loughborough. An Alpha++ rat achieves 12 points, scaled down to 1 period for a “ Sufficiency ” rate. foster charge boosts ( up to a limit based on the number of cities featured ) are available for inclusion in any of the following :

  • PwC’s Cities of Opportunity Index – up to 3 additional points
  • Global Power City Index – up to 4 additional points
  • Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards – up to 6 additional points
  • City Momentum Index – up to 5 additional points

Safety score [x2]
This score is based on the base hit exponent compiled by Numbeo ( the inverse of the crime index ). The Numbeo results are augmented by data from the personal safety indicator of the Social Progress Index ( state degree ), and The Economist ’ s Safe Cities Index .
In each shell the results are scored based on the distance from the mean position, with the top cities in each index receiving a positive result and the penetrate cities a negative result. In the few cases where there is no city data available, the mean of all cities in that country is applied .
Pollution score
Health and wellbeing are besides all-important factors for prospective students and their parents, and air quality can vary greatly. This aspect is not highly leaden but provides an interest stress in the sex appeal category. This score is besides derived from data gathered by Numbeo. In the few cases where there is no city data available, the mean of all cities in the relevant country is applied.

Corruption score [x2]
Transparency International ’ s Corruption Perceptions Index provides penetration into the bearing of corruption in the public sector, of which higher department of education is typically a partially, by state. This grudge is included to reflect the fact that international students and their parents may want to be reassured that their fees are reaching the right places .
Student desirability [x2]
This index is based on a student survey which collected over 95,000 responses worldwide. The survey is available year-round, but there have been three pushes for responses, the first from December 2016 to January 2017, the second from January to February 2019 and one-third from January to February 2021. As partially of the survey, students were asked to identify their ‘ dream scholar city ’ – the city they would choose if they could study anywhere. This score is included to reflect international students ’ perceptions of the most desirable city destinations .

Employer activity

This class aims to provide an indication of which cities are most highly sought as recruiting grounds among calibrate employers. Two of the indicators considered are based on QS ’ s annual sketch of employers worldwide, which asks recruiters to identify the institutions they believe to be producing the best graduates in their sector .
Domestic employer popularity
A score based on the numeral of domestic employers who identified at least one mental hospital in the city as producing excellent graduates, in QS ’ s employer surveil .
International employer popularity [x4]
A score based on the slant count of external employers who identified at least one institution in the city as producing excellent graduates. Since all QS ’ sulfur cultivate is focused on supporting international students and opportunities for mobility, this index carries more slant than the domestic alternative .
Youth employment bonus
A bonus or penalty is applied based on World Bank figures for youth employment in the given area. The crown and bottom quartile receive a 5 % rise or handicap, while the top and bottom 5 % of countries for youth employment receive a 10 % allowance .


The fifth class recognises the importance of affordability for most prospective students and their families. It draws on a range of sources to give an indication of how low-cost a city is probable to be, when tuition fees and general living expenses are considered .
Tuition fees [x3]
normally, the most hearty outgo for students, global trends suggest that tuition fees are likely to play an increasing function in shaping international student mobility trends in the coming years. This score carries doubly the slant of the other affordability indicators .
Big Mac index [x2]
A score based on this well-known index of retail price in cities worldwide, compiled and published by the Economist Intelligence Unit .
iPad index [x2]
A score based on the iPad Index, compiled by Commsec, which compares the price of an iPad in unlike countries, giving an extra insight into local live costs .
Cost of living [2]
This seduce is based on the Mercer Cost of Living Rankings and provides a beneficial contrast to the early affordability measures considered. For exemplify, Hong Kong is among the cheapest locations according to the Big Mac Index, but the second most expensive city in the Mercer Cost of Living Index, due to factors such as the gamey costs of accommodation. Considering this excerpt of indicators together provides a entire mental picture .

Student view

This indicator is based on a student view which collected over 95,000 responses cosmopolitan. It provides students with an opportunity to share their experience of studying in a particular city .
Student experience [x3]
This sexual conquest is based on students ’ ratings of their city in eight categories : tolerance and inclusion body, diverseness, friendliness, ease of getting around, affordability, nightlife, employment opportunities, arts and culture, and sustainability. The score is adjusted based on the proportion of external response .
Cities which come out on top of the Student Desirability indicator ( see above ) do not necessarily score equally well for Student Experience, showing that the genuine know may not match expectations .
Staying after graduation [x2]

This score is based on the proportion of students that either stayed or said they would like to stay in their scholar city for at least a year after graduation. This reflects students ’ perceptions of the handiness and quality of use prospects, angstrom well as providing a reflecting on their experience of the city overall. This score is besides adjusted for the flush of external reception .


Each indicator is converted into an ordinal number by ranking the results and subtracting the rank of each result from the maximum. In some cases, the underlying data is slightly reconfigured to ensure comparable application of weights ( i.e. tuition fee values are organised into ranges ). The result scores are combined with the weights shown above ( these are relative weights within the class ) and scaled to the top-performing city in the category to give a score with a utmost of 100 for each class, which are then summed to produce the concluding grade .
The final examination table is presented based on an overall score out of 100, showing rank, score, state, and city names and scores out of 100 in each of the six categories .

source : https://enrolldetroit.org
Category : Education

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