Montreal has ended Paris’s five-year run as the world’s best student city, according to global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The fifth edition of its QS Best Student Cities Ranking, enumerates the world’s top 100 urban student destinations.

This year’s ranking features a ‘Student View’ indicator for the first time. Findings for the United Kingdom provide reassurance to those concerned about the potential effects of the UK’s impending exit from the EU on its higher education sector.

Montreal’s success is the latest of a series of propitious signs for a city beginning to escape a period of economic stagnation, following positive growth forecasts for 2017, and the recent announcement of its selection as the ‘World’s Most Intelligent City’. Its first-place ranking is also the highlight of a series of positive performances from Canadian cities: four of the country’s five ranked cities improve their position.

Montreal is home to several of Canada’s highest-ranking institutions, including McGill University (currently ranked 30th in the world and 1st in Canada) and the Université de Montréal (126th in the world, 5th in Canada). The city is also a regular contender in lists of the world’s best places to live. In the Student View category added to the index this year, Montréal comes out fifth overall, with a particularly strong rating for arts and culture, as well as for its friendliness, diversity and affordability.

As a French-speaking city in a largely English-speaking nation that has experienced mass immigration from across the world, Montréal is known for its multicultural makeup and inclusive ethos. It’s also renowned for its laidback yet lively lifestyle, attractive boulevards, thriving creative industries, café culture, and eclectic range of arts venues, live performances and nightlife.

Other key findings of the research include:

– Paris drops to second place, receiving reduced rank for Affordability and Desirability;
– London rises from fifth place to third place;
– The results suggest that UK cities remain excellent study destinations in the face of Brexit, with rises in QS’s Affordability indicator a major contributor to all eight of its ranked cities improving their rank;
– Affordability issues adversely affect American cities: though Boston places eighth, ten of its twelve ranked cities drop;
– Australia’s high cost-of-living and tuition fees are proving disadvantageous: all of its seven ranked cities drop, with Sydney plummeting from fourth to thirteenth, and Melbourne falling from second to fifth;
– Seoul is Asia’s best student city, rising to 4th, followed by Tokyo – 7th, Hong Kong – 11th and Singapore – 14th
– Berlin rises to 6th; Munich – 9th, and Vancouver – 10th complete the top 10.