Dublin ranks low on affordability but high on student diversity

Ireland’s capital city places 34th best student city in the world

Dublin has fallen three places on the international QS “Best Student Cities Ranking”, scoring low on affordability but high on student mix, or diversity.

The index ranks cities based on six categories: desirability, employer activity, affordability, student view, student mix, and university rankings.

Dublin is ranked 90th in the world for affordability, falling two places since last year and tying with Boston and Washington DC. The category considers how affordable a city is when tuition fees are taken into account alongside living expenses, comparing the cost of Big Macs and iPads globally.

Affordability concerns recently sparked Dublin City Council to review its housing strategy, calling the supply of affordable housing in Dublin persistently “inadequate and imbalanced”.  Earlier this summer, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin proposed that rent caps be introduced for purpose-built student accommodation following rises in student rent of 15 to 20% in major Irish cities.

As Trinity students search for accommodation for the coming year, the price of rent has left many feeling disparaged. New student accommodation complex “The Tramshed and The Woodworks”, which opened in Point Village last week, faced criticism for charging between €920 and €1440 per year for an apartment. Despite the backlash, 10 of 16 room options are currently sold out including the €360-per-week Penthouse Premium Studio, according to the accommodation provider’s website.

The capital city’s strongest score in the “Best Student Cities Ranking” is for student mix, which ranks cities based on the diversity of students. Dublin attained 14th place globally for student mix due to its “high concentration of students and high ratio of international students”.

Dublin placed in 34th spot overall, scoring in the top one-third of 101 cities listed for student mix, university rankings, students’ view of the city, and employer activity. Dublin is the only Irish city to feature on the list, with the index requiring a featured city to have a population of over 250,000 and be the home of two or more universities on the most recent QS World University Rankings.

Dublin is the only city in Ireland to have more than one university on the 2018 QS World University Rankings, with Trinity, University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) featuring on the list, all of which are located in the capital. Across the country, National University of Ireland (NUIG), University College Cork (UCC), University of Limerick (UL) and Maynooth University (MU) also featured on the list.

Meanwhile, London rose from third place to become the world’s top student city for the first time, overtaking Montréal. Tokyo placed second while Melbourne came in at third place.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland is the current News Editor of Trinity News. She is a Junior Sophister English Literature and Sociology student, and a former Assistant News Editor.