Beijing, Shanghai among world's top 30 cities for students

By Eugene Clark
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 4, 2017
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Shanghai placed 25th and Beijing 30th in the 2016 QS ranking of Best Student Cities.

Montreal overtook Paris this year to be ranked number 1 with London at number 3. Australia, which is a major destination for international students, had 4 cities near the top: Melbourne (5); Sydney (13); Brisbane 20 and Canberra (22).

These rankings evidence a Chinese higher education system that is rapidly improving and becomes increasingly international in focus, outlook and importance.

As an academic at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing between 2012 and 2015, I noticed over that period an increasing number of international students coming to study. Indeed, CUPL even offered a PhD taught in English and its faculty came from all over the world. Even most of the Chinese academics had studied overseas. Such was China's commitment to globalization.

One of the major reasons for Shanghai and Beijing's attractiveness to foreign students is the economic opportunities that exist in the job market upon graduation. Both cities are also safe, modern and reflective of a wonderful, rich and diverse culture.

Both Beijing and Shanghai also have several world-class universities and these attract students who seek to enrol in the best universities for which they can qualify. In other words, excellence attracts excellence. In the words of writer, Wendell Berry:

"Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone."

Not only are these international students enriched by their international study experience, but the countries which attract them are also enriched in many ways. A diverse international student body raises the quality of education generally.

Students pay tuition, buy food, travel and more. Their parents and friends from their home country often visit them. It is also common for those students to make friends with and build a network that will enhance future business and cooperation between their respective countries. All of these factors make international students a win-win for the students and the cities that attract them.

Great cities are also the centers of innovation with universities, industry, finance and government all partnering to travel that journey from basic research to product/service design and development and on to implementation/commercialization.

As former President Obama concluded: "Simple exchanges can break down walls between us, for when people come together and speak to one another and share a common experience, their common humanity is revealed.

We are reminded that we're joined together by our pursuit of a life that is productive and purposeful, and when that happens mistrust begins to fade and our smaller differences no longer overshadow the things that we share. And that's where progress begins."

Eugene Clark is a columnist with For more information please visit:

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of

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