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High cost of living and a polluted living environment are deterring international talent from coming to Hong Kong to study and work.
In the latest best student cities ranking published by Quacquarelli Symonds, Hong Kong fell three places from the year before to 11th place globally. In Asia, Hong Kong is ranked number three behind Seoul and Tokyo.
The cities are ranked according to performance in six composite indicators: desirability, rankings, student mix, employer activity, affordability, and, for the first time, student view. Over 18,000 students responded to the survey. They were asked to name the city in which they would most like to study, their experience studying in a particular city, and their intention to remain there post-graduation.
For the new indicator- “Student view”, Hong Kong was ranked 34th globally, with 62% of respondents saying that they are willing to stay in the city after graduation.
The city’s score for “Affordability” has dropped five places due to high cost of living and rising tuition fees. The score for “Desirability” which takes into account quality of living environment, safety, and level of corruption also suffered, plummeting 14 spots to 29.
On the positive side, Hong Kong performed well in “Employer activity”, ranking 15th globally. The city also did well in “Rankings”, standing at number 8.
For student mix, the city is ranked 25th. Government figures have shown that 76% of non-local students in government-funded universities are from the mainland, which hurts the city’s international student mix.
Montreal has replaced Paris as the world’s best student city.
Singapore dropped 8 places to 14th, and Kuala Lumpur has risen eight places to 41.
Singapore graduates are much sought-after by international employers, ranking 11th globally in employer activity. On the downside, the high cost of living and rising tuition fees are turning students away.