London has been named the second best city in the world in which to study, according to research released on Tuesday, writes editor of London StudentHesham Zakai.
In the first rankings of its kind, Paris claimed the top spot in the list of 50 Best Student Cities. Boston, Melbourne and Vienna completed the top five.
The study, conducted by QS, who also release world university rankings, considered measures ranging from population size and quality of educational establishments to affordability and standard of living.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said he was “delighted to learn that London has once again been confirmed as one of the best places on earth to be a student".
"We’ve got twice as many bookshops as New York. We’ve got more museums than Paris, and our museums are free. And we’ve got less rainfall than Rome," he added.
London’s score was bolstered by its number of world class universities – including the London School of Economics, Imperial College London and University College London, but was let down by its high costs.
The study concluded: “London isn't getting any cheaper – for international students, tuition fees at the city's top universities approach those charged in the US, while home and EU undergraduate students will be affected by major fee increases implemented in 2012”.
Conversely, in Paris “international tuition fees are a fraction of those in the UK, Australia and North America”.
Responding to the news, President of the National Union of Students Liam Burns, said: "If London is to continue to be such an attractive place to study we need to see urgent action to address the spiralling cost of student living.”
London and Paris both scored well for employment activity, with London further described as “one of the world's most important financial centres”.
There were two prerequisites for cities to be considered in the study: the first was a population size of at least 250,000, and the second was that the city must be home to at least two ranked institutions, meaning 98 cities qualified for the study.
Elsewhere in the UK, Manchester was ranked 35th, Birmingham 47th and Glasgow 50th.