Beijing and Shanghai among 40 top cities for international students

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Beijing and Shanghai among 40 top cities for international students -

A foreign student learns batik art in Danzhai county, Southwest China's Guizhou province, Jan 11, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Beijing and Shanghai are among the world's top 40 cities for international students to study in, according to the latest QS Best Student Cities Ranking.

In the sixth edition of the rankings, released on Wednesday by global education consultancy QS Quacquarelli Symonds, Beijing ranked 32nd and Shanghai 33rd. Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, ranked 99th, and Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, 105th.

The ranking compares the world's 120 top student cities.

Cities are ranked according to six criteria: the number and performance of their universities, graduates' employment prospects, affordability, desirability and quality of life, the diversity of their student body, and students' opinion of the city.

Beijing's strengths were listed as the quality of its universities and the high levels of employer activity in the city. It achieved the world's fourth-highest score for QS's university rankings indicator, which measures the number of universities in a city and their quality. The city also ranked fourth in terms of graduates' employment prospects.

Shanghai also scored strongly for university rankings, achieving the world's 11th-highest score. It ranked 15th for employment prospects.

The rankings for all four cities in the Chinese mainland dropped this year, primarily because of rising costs. Their affordability scores fell this year, with Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan all in the bottom half of the table for cost of living.

London retained its status as the world's best student city, Tokyo remained second and Melbourne in Australia held onto third position.

London was ranked top because it possesses the highest number of top-ranked universities and a high level of employer activity, and because its desirability — including quality of life — has increased relative to other cities.

However, cities in the United Kingdom and the United States are hindered by their lack of affordability. Eight of the world's 10 least-affordable cities were in the two countries.

Christina Yan Zhang, QS's China director, said: "China has attached great importance to establishing itself as a world leader in higher education. This has enabled Chinese universities to enhance their overall global competitiveness and influence. Many cities in China are now new study destinations for top talent globally."

Developing an efficient overseas student management framework that is world class but with Chinese characteristics has become increasingly important, she said.

If China could provide more opportunities for internships, work and startups for students, it would give a boost to the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese companies' ambitions to go global, and the country's economic and political influence, she added.

China has been the most popular destination for international students in Asia since 2014. In 2018, the country welcomed 492,000 international students from 196 countries and regions to study at 1,004 universities and research institutes across the country, according to the Ministry of Education.

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