The Best University Cities of 2017 -by timeshighereducation

the-best-university-cities-of-2017What are the top student cities in the world? Analysis of THE data reveals where the world’s best colleges congregate.

Times Higher Education presents the best universities in the world, a vital consideration for would-be students when choosing where they should apply.

Times Higher Education is known to publish authoritative global university league tables in the world. The ranking data is said to have been analysed by academics at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute to find out if there are any cities where the top universities congregate.

If you were asked to name the best student cities in the world, you might think of the likes of London and New York. The findings, published on The Atlantic CityLab website, is reported to produce some expected and some not-so-expected results.

But would Atlanta or Seoul be on the “top student cities” list for students? If not, you may well want to reconsider. They have some of the highest concentrations of great universities in the world – so if your idea of being in one of the best student cities involves being close to thousands of other smart undergraduates (and postgrads, for that matter) then you are then advised to broaden your search.

As contained in Times Higher Education, the MP Institute analysis looked at the world’s top 100 universities, as identified by the THE World University Rankings and found the following:

Best University Cities: where the top 100 colleges are based 


These are said not be a big surprise. If you were to ask a panel of would-be students which cities they think are the best – and which have the best universities – you might expect to hear London, Los Angeles, Boston and Berlin mentioned.

Why not consider Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Stokholm or Beijing? What about Utrecht or Liège? These cities are reported to have some fantastic universities too. And some big names are missing from the list. Where’s Paris, for example?

In some cases, cities have been merged together to form metropolitan areas under the name of one town. Here’s how the data scientists at the Institute worked it out.

For US universities, the researcher matched them to the city boundaries used by the US Census Bureau. For universities outside the US, universities were matched to metros using the UN World Cities boundaries. This classification covers all places with a population greater than 300,000.

For those that did not match any UN World Cities boundaries, the researchers matched them to the Brookings Institute global metro boundaries. For example, Aachen and Maastricht both mapped to Liege as they are within the Brookings Institute defined Liege metro and are both too small to register as a UN World City.

If you’re still not sure about what the best city to study in is, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the researchers didn’t stop with the top 100 institutions. The table below looks at the cities with the most top 500 universities, as defined by Times Higher Education rankings.

Best University Cities: where the top 500 universities are based


When the ranking is expanded to include all institutions that make the top 500, the French capital leaps into second place. Paris obviously is a great university city!

London still tops with 15 of the world’s top 500 universities falling in its boundaries. And it’s good news for those looking to study in South Korea, Australia, Japan, Belgium Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Italy or Russia too. They all have multiple universities sitting pretty in the top 500.

To some, it may appear that there are still no major surprises in the two tables presented above. This may be due to the fact that most of the towns named as being top university cities are huge global metropolises with high concentration of people. Hence, it is expected that great universities could be found after all. However, it’s the people within colleges that make them the great institutions that they are.

The table below shows a situation where the best university cities are broken down by the number of top universities per head of population.

Best University Cities: number of top universities per capita


By this measure, Stockholm, Sweden becomes the best university city! Reported to have a remarkable 3.4 universities for every 1 million people – comfortably more than the next challenger Melbourne, with 1.7. London, Sydney and Paris are still in the list and also New York and Tokyo.

Culled from:



Categories: Top Universities, Top Universities in Europe


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