Berlin and Munich Rated Among Top Student Cities Worldwide

Mar 5, 2012

Two German cities - Berlin and Munich - have made it into the top 20 in the QS World University Rankings' first ever "QS Best Student Cities" roster.

Berlin's Humboldt University Enlarge image Berlin's Humboldt University (© flickr user Beny Schlevich (batch))

QS, which bills itself as "the leadings global career and education network for ambitious professionals looking to further both their personal and professional development," publishes annual rankings of the world's top universities.

To be considered for inclusion in the new 2012 "Best Student Cities" list, cities had to fulfill two key requirements - they had to have a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants and they had to be home to at least two ranked universities.

Some 98 cities qualified under these requirements, and QS ranked the top 50 in a list visible on its Web site (see related link at right).

With a list of eligible cities parred down, QS then considered university rankings, student mix, affordability, quality of life (according to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2011), and employer activity.  Each city was then awarded points in each category, a total of which created the QS ranking.

The top three cities were Paris, London and Boston, followed by Melbourne, Vienna, Sydney and Zurich. Several other US cities also received high marks (see list below).

Berlin ranked 8th in QS study

Free University Berlin © picture-alliance/dpa Enlarge image The Free University's new Philological Library was designed by Sir Norman Foster. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

Berlin tied with the Irish capital of Dublin for 8th place in the rankings. The German capital is home to three major QS-ranked universities: the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Humboldt University), and Technische Universität Berlin (Technical University).

On its Web site, QS praised both the city's legendary hip, edgy and creative character, as well as its affordability - a major plus for students:

  • "Berlin can stake a credible claim to being one of the coolest cities in the world. During the past decade its cultural scene has flourished, turning it into a major center of design, fashion, music and art to rival New York and London. More so than those cities however, Berlin is still easily affordable on a student budget, while also being enough of a global financial centre to appeal to those whose outlook is of a more corporate nature. Comfortably the most affordable city in the top ten, Berlin combines cheap rent and living costs with tuition of fees of just US $1,000-2,000 for both home and international students alike, representing a saving of thousands compared to universities in many other countries."

City of Berlin

Munich ranked 13th in QS study

The Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich. © picture-alliance/dpa Enlarge image The Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

Munich placed 13th in the new QS "Best Cities" rankings. The Bavarian metropolis is home to two consistently high-ranking German universities - currently ranked second and third within Germany and 54th and 67th in the world - the Technische Universität München (Technical University) and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

The city's cultural offerings also played no small part in Munich's ranking, as QS highlights on its Web site:

  • "Located deep in Germany's southernmost region Bavaria, Munich is the nation's third largest city, and its affluence and vibrancy have led it to be ranked as the most desirable in the nation in which to live. Of course, for many people outside of Germany, Munich is known first and foremost as the beer capital of the world – home to Oktoberfest, one of the world's biggest and booziest parties, which every year draws tourists in their hoards to quaff the local brew."

City of Munich

Several US Cities Also Received High Marks

Here are the top 25 cities in the QS Best Student Cities 2012 top 50 rankings (including two ties):

  1. Paris (France)
  2. London (United Kingdon)
  3. Boston (United States)
  4. Melbourne (Australia)
  5. Vienna (Austria)
  6. Sydney (Australia)
  7. Zurich (Switzerland)
  8. Berlin (Germany)
  9. Dublin (Ireland - tied for 8th place with Berlin)
  10. Montreal (Canada)
  11. Barcelona (Spain)
  12. Singapore (Singapore)
  13. Munich (Germany)
  14. Lyon (France)
  15. Chicago (United States)
  16. Madrid (Spain)
  17. San Franciso (United States)
  18. New York (United States)
  19. Tokyo (Japan)
  20. Hong Kong (Hong Kong - tied for 19th place with Tokyo)
  21. Milan (Italy)
  22. Brisbane (Australia)
  23. Seoul (South Korea)
  24. Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  25. Perth (Australia)
© Young Germany/

Studying in Germany

View of Berlin along the Spree

Humboldt University by night

Humboldt University by night

Humboldt University by night

Munich Ranked Germany's Top City for Quality of Life

Munich - Oktoberfest

There is more to life in Munich than downing beers at Oktoberfest. The Bavarian metropolis is Germany's No. 1 major city to call home, according to a recent global survey by consulting firm Mercer.

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