Prague ranks among best student cities

The capital has been climbing up the list and scores high for a diverse student body

Prague tied for 26th place on a 2017 ranking of best student cities by UK-based education analyst QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Some 100 cities were ranked, so Prague just missed the top quarter. Montreal came in first, bringing an end to Paris' reign at the top. London came in third.

The Czech capital jumped from 39th place in the previous year's ranking. It was 49th out of 50 ranked cities in the 2015 survey. Criteria, however, have continued to evolve so the results are not fully comparable from year to year.

“Prague continues to improve its position in the QS Best Student Cities index, climbing 13 places this year. The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague boasts three universities ranked among the world’s best. Its leading institution, Charles University, is joined in the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017 by the Czech Technical University in Prague and the University of Economics, Prague,” the ranking stated.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds stated Prague is still establishing itself as an international study destination, even though it has long been in the list of top European city-break destinations because of its UNESCO-listed historical center as well as its arts, museums and nightlife. “In recent years, it’s also been recognized as an international innovation hub, ranked 29th in the Innovation Cities Index,” the ranking adds.

The city scored points for its large and internationally diverse student community. It also ranked high for affordability; while international tuition fees are in the mid-range. “Prague is a less expensive place to live than many of the other entrants in the QS Best Student Cities,” the ranking continued.

“Prague achieves its strongest score in the new Student View indicator – coming second behind Ottawa. This new category reflects students’ own views of their experiences, and in our student survey Prague received plenty of praise for its affordability, diversity and friendliness. When asked to name the best things about studying in Prague, one student said: 'It's very affordable and comfortable to live in. Great cuisine.' Another highlighted the 'Friendly atmosphere and great nightlife.'” the ranking's description concluded.

The criteria used university rankings, student mix, desirability, employer activity, affordability and, newly, student view based on a survey of students and recent graduates. The city came in second in student view, 35th in affordability, 44th in desirability and 49th in employer activity. The highest-ranked institution is Charles University at a joint 302nd worldwide. Average international fees at ranked universities is $4,800.

To be considered for inclusion, each city must have a population of over 250,000, and be home to at least two universities featured in the most recent QS World University Rankings. For population metrics, the metropolitan area is used where possible.

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