Dublin a hit with students

QS ranking places Dublin 15th for being student friendly

Dublin performed well in all categories except affordability

Dublin performed well in all categories except affordability


Dublin has been ranked among the top student-friendly cities in an international ranking that places it 15th of 50 university towns. Paris tops the list, with London coming a close second.

This is the second student city ranking to be published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a company that also produces a world university ranking. And while Dublin’s universities may not top the bill – falling outside the top 100 – we do much better when it comes to keeping students happy.

London-based QS does not use “party town” as one of its five main ranking criteria, but that didn’t seem to matter given Dublin’s overall performance. QS uses university rankings, student mix, quality of living, employer activity and affordability when it assesses a university town and the benefits it bestows on students there.

Dublin performed well in all of these categories except affordability, said Ben Sowter, head of research at QS.

Affordability an issue
“With a maximum of 100 points awarded, Dublin’s highest scores were 92 for student mix, 80 for quality of living and 77 for university rankings. However, with the cost of higher education rising around the world, the city’s affordability score of 42 could be an issue for students facing financial constraints.” We managed 75 for employer activity, QS found.

To be included the city must have a population of at least 250,000 – something that rules out our other cities – and must have at least two institutions in the QS World University Rankings, in our case Trinity and UCD as the highest two.

This approach meant that 98 countries qualified, but QS only provided a top 50 listing.

Dublin was placed 8th in last year’s inaugural ranking but QS warned that comparisons between 2013 and 2012 were a problem because of significantly changed criteria, a spokeswoman said. The figures this year put us in joint 15th along with Vienna, not a shabby student town at all.

Thirty countries are included in the top 50, with the US having seven cities in the rankings. Australia had six, Canada and the UK three each.

The top 10 running order is as follows: Paris, London, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Zurich, Hong Kong, Boston, Montreal and Munich, with Melbourne and Zurich tied in fifth place.

Students are increasingly internationally mobile and the availability of a city’s ranking will complement the QS universities ranking in helping them make informed choices if choosing to study abroad. “After all, a university experience is intrinsically influenced by the location, especially for international students,” said Mr Sowter.