Mumbai second in affordability for international students

Mumbai has been ranked the world’s second most affordable city for international students while Delhi occupies the 12th slot. Paris is the best student city, closely followed by London while no Indian city makes it to the top 50 for 2013, according to the rankings drawn up by QS Best Student Cities. According to the list released on Wednesday, Mumbai is ranked 61st with Delhi at the 69th spot.

Mumbai scored 98 out of 100 in affordability – second only to Kuala Lumpur. Delhi’s score was 85 out of 100 in affordability. In the student mix indicator (proportion of international students), the two Indian cities fared miserably. Mumbai scored 2 out of 100 while for Delhi it was 10.

Both Mumbai and Delhi are highly affordable for an International student. One of the main components of this indicator – tuition fees- is really low in Mumbai and Delhi compared to other European cities. Also cost of living and food – especially fast and street food that students usually eat – are also very low in India, specially Mumbai and Delhi.

For quality of living, Mumbai scores 55 and Delhi 51. Both have also performed relatively well in the Employer Activity indicator (Mumbai scores 63 out of 100 and Delhi 57) showing that the leading local universities are well regarded by local and international employers. But lack of international students bring down the ranking significantly.

Thirty countries are represented in the list which has most cities from the US (7), followed by Australia (6), Canada (3) and UK (3).

The new countries in the top 50 are Norway with Oslo ranked 48, New Zealand with Auckland (18) and Czech Republic with Prague (45).

The ranking is based on five key parameters – university rankings, student mix, quality of living, employer activity and affordability.

London mayor Boris Johnson said, “The city has more first-class higher education institutions than any other. With our streets getting safer and the huge investments we’re making in transport and infrastructure, not to mention abundant green spaces and unrivalled nightlife, it’s no wonder London attracts such a high calibre of students from across the globe.”

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS said: “London, Manchester and Edinburgh all scored over 90 points for student mix which highlights UK’s continued popularity as a destination among international students.”

Two pre-requisites were identified to evaluate cities in this exercise – a population over 250,000 and it must be home to at least two institutions in the QS world university rankings. Around 98 cities in the world qualified. This year for the ranking, two more indicators were introduced -globalization and world cities index as an indicator for “quality of living” with a focus on the cities’ influence in the global arena. The iPad index is a proxy indicator for the affordability of consumer technology.