November 27 Melbourne has been named the best city in Australia to study in and second best in the world, ahead of London, New York and Hong Kong.
Despite the UK city having one of the largest number of universities in the world â€” and some of the most famous â€” Melbourne has beaten it in a list of the best cities in the world for students.
According to rankings released by QS Top Universities, Paris is the best place to study, with Melbourne second.
Melbourne leapt three spots this year to claim second place ahead of London.
So what makes Melbourne so great?
â€œItâ€™s a really welcoming place, especially for international students,â€_x009d_ First year Melbourne University student Claudia Lombard said.
â€œThereâ€™s a certain culture about Melbourne thatâ€™s just evident everywhere. As a student, absorbing that â€” itâ€™s just the best place to be.â€_x009d_
Her classmate Lucy Reiger agrees.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of education, retail and food all in close proximity here,â€_x009d_ Ms Reiger said.
â€œPublic transport here is really good, and thereâ€™s a great atmosphere â€” thereâ€™s always something happening.â€_x009d_
Melbourne student Ziyang Wang appreciates the city sights in particular.
â€œItâ€™s very beautiful. In my spare time I just walk around in the city and take some photos â€” itâ€™s very good,â€_x009d_ Ms Wang said.
Clare Field, 19 said the city was vibrant.
â€œThe cityâ€™s really interesting â€” all the laneways and the combination of old buildings and new buildings,â€_x009d_ she said.
Others cited the convenience of campuses, safety, open space and a sense of community.
The rankings were determined by a wide range of criteria that considered everything from university quality and tuition fees to cultural tolerance, safety and pollution.
Overall, six Australian cities managed to break into the top 50 â€” Melbourne (2), Sydney (4), Canberra (21), Brisbane (23), Adelaide (29) and Perth (38).
Canberra was the biggest mover of the bunch, rising 16 places since last yearâ€™s rankings.
QS Head of research Ben Sowter said the Best Cities rankings were an important tool that would be especially useful for international students.
â€œAfter all, a university experience is intrinsically influenced by the location,â€_x009d_ Mr Sowter said.
The highest-rated cities were often identified by employers as more likely to produce excellent graduates.
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