Montreal ranks as best city in Canada to be a student

 McGill support staff walked out Thursday morning, on the first day of class for many students.

Montreal has been rated the best student city in Canada, but it falls well behind Paris according to a new international survey.

Paris was followed by London and Boston with Montreal landing 10th, Toronto coming in 26th and Vancouver coming in 31st.

British firm QS, which usually ranks individual universities, examined 50 cities around the world, looking at student mix, quality of living, employer activity and affordability to devise the list.

Helping Montreal finish in 10th was that QS ranked McGill as the 17th best university in the world.

"Montreal has been dubbed the cultural capital of Canada, and one of the world's most liveable cities," reads the description of the city on the QS ranking website. "Montreal has one of the highest scores for quality of living, alongside a favourable student mix and rankings score, largely courtesy of the world-class status of McGill."

QS also says Montreal is the best-value destination in the top 10 behind Boston and Berlin and while tuition fees for international students are high, they compare favourable to top schools in the U.K., U.S. and Australia.

"It's simply fantastic that Montreal should rank among the top 10 universities on the planet, making it a peer among Paris, London and Boston," said Guy Breton, rector of University de Montreal, in a statement in a Montreal Gazette article. "Our institution takes particular pride in this fact, carrying as it does the name of our city and considering our own contributions to Montreal's rich and dynamic university life."

Toronto, with 109,400 students, ranks high on quality of life, but low on affordability. The same can be said for Vancouver. It had the fourth highest score for quality of life, but the eighth lowest score for affordability out of the 50 cities.

"Unlike London and Boston, Paris does not have a global top 30 university, so it may come as a surprise to some that it ranks as the top city in the world for international students," reads the QS website on Paris. They chose Paris because it has 16 schools in the rankings, international fees are well below U.K., Australia and North America, and because the city is in the heart of Europe, graduates are targeted by employers all over the continent.

This is the first time QS has put together a list of the best student cities in the world. Information was taken from public data and surveys. To make the list, cities have to have a population of 250,000 or more and at least two universities.

(CBC photo)