Taipei ranked 21st on the latest Best Student Cities index released on Wednesday by a British company specializing in education and study abroad.
Taipei was one of two Taiwanese cities that made the top-100 list of best urban destinations for international students, which was compiled by Quacquarelli Symonds based on university rankings, student mix, employer activity, desirability, affordability and student views.
The other was Hsinchu, which is known as the “Silicon Valley of the East” because of its science park, ranked 75th on the list.
At the top of this year’s list was Montreal, unseating Paris, which sat at the top of the rankings for four years.
After Montreal and Paris, the other top-10 cities were London; Seoul; Melbourne; Berlin; Tokyo; Boston; Munich, Germany; and Vancouver.
The Best Student Cities index draws on more than 20 sources to assess cities in six categories, which this year included student views for the first time.
The new category is based on ratings by students and graduates with experience studying in each city and is the final piece in the puzzle, said Dasha Karzunina, the lead analyst of this year’s index.
“The student input not only adds a real-life perspective on studying in each city, verifying some of the other data-driven indicators we have, but also allows us to assess the more qualitative aspects of a city — such as how friendly and inclusive it is and whether it has good nightlife,” Karzunina said.
Montreal emerged fifth in the student view indicator, with a particularly strong rating for its arts and cultural offering, as well as for its friendliness, diversity and affordability, the company said.
Taipei was 10th in the category, with students indicating that they “are enjoying their experience of the city and are often keen to stay after graduation,” it said.
When asked to name the best things about studying in Taipei, one respondent summarized by saying: “Inclusion, diversity, friendliness,” while another said that locals are friendly and helpful to foreigners.
In the student view survey, the company said it collected about 18,000 responses in December last year and last month.