In a new ranking of the world’s best student cities published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) this week, Dublin comes 32nd, down from 15th last year and 9th the year before.
Paris tops the list for the third year in a row, followed by Melbourne and London. The US, which has six universities in the top 10 of QS World Universities Rankings (WUR), has only one city in the ranking – Boston, location of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
No other Irish city qualifies for inclusion as the two criteria for consideration are having a population of at least 250,000 and having two or more higher education institutions in the WUR.
The ranking is compiled by assigning scores to cities in five categories: academic ranking of institutions, student mix, affordability, employer activity and desirability.
While Dublin performs particularly poorly in the “employer activity” category, it is ranked second for “student mix” which is based on the size of the student population, the proportion of international students, and the performance of the city’s country in the Social Progress Index.
QS stated that Dublin’s “weakest point is affordability, with international tuition fees averaging around US$18,000 per year.” Non-EU fees increased by at least five percent for the current academic year and will increase by at least six percent over the next two years.
College aims to increase the proportion of students from outside the EU to 18% as part of its recently published five-year strategic plan.