Paris still best student city despite stiff London competition
Paris retained its place as the best city in the world for students, a survey published Wednesday showed, narrowly beating London to the top spot with its world-leading universities and low tuition fees.
The QS Best Student Cities 2014 ranking, compiled by the same higher education specialist that issues the closely watched annual QS World University Rankings, said Paris had come first for the second year in a row, two points ahead of London.
"Low tuition fees continue to make France a very attractive study destination for domestic and international students," said Ben Sowter, head of research at QS.
"However, it was the performance of Paris's institutions in the QS rankings, the employability of its graduates and high quality of living scores that made the capital city, once again, the world's best student city."
The survey evaluates cities on 14 criteria, including university rankings, student mix, quality of living and affordability.
London, for instance, came ahead of Paris in the student mix category.
Singapore came third overall, followed by Sydney, Melbourne and Zurich in a tie, Hong Kong, Boston, Montreal and Munich.
Some new cities also made the top 50, such as Oslo, Auckland and Prague.
The survey said Parisian graduates were "targeted by a vast range of employers across the continent", adding that elite universities had "produced some of the most important philosophers, theorists, scientists and mathematicians of the last 100 years, not to mention seminal movements in literature, film and art."
"Students in Paris often enjoy extensive access to leading academics, with small class sizes and intensive teaching, despite the low fees. Paris is frequently rated as one of the most liveable cities in Europe, and scores well for quality of living," it added.
The news will come as a ray of sunshine in a country currently beset by morosity amid record-high unemployment -- youth jobless rates stand at around 25 percent -- and rising taxes.
© 2013 AFP