The 2023 study by finance company HelloSAFE was published March 9 and included quality of student life, academic excellence and cost of studying among its considerations for the ranking.
- Quality of life: Compared monthly cost for a rental studio apartment in the city centre, number of inhabitants, access to nature, its climate and air quality.
- Attractiveness: Compared the number of big cities within a 500-kilometre radius, accessibility by road, train or plane, the unemployment rate in January this year, and average household income in January this year.
- Quality of student life: Compared the number of students within the city, the proportion of students to total population, the number of bars and restaurants within a 10-kilometre radius, and its cultural offering.
- Academic excellence and cost of studying: Compared the number of universities within the city, the cost of fees for universities for the 2022-2023 year, and the academic ranking.
Each category winner earned 50 points with the final score being marked out of 200.
Kingston earned 152 points and took the top spot from Sherbrooke, Quebec, which placed fourth. According to the company, Kingston edged out close competition Montreal (with 144 points) and Vancouver (143 points) due to its ranking of university reputation and large student population.
“With nearly 17 per cent of students in the city and a diverse cultural and festive offer, Kingston offers a dynamic and varied student life,” HelloSAFE’s website reads. “Similarly, with its temperate climate, its preserved environment and easy access to nature, Kingston offers a very healthy living environment for studying.”
Second-placed Montreal is the best city for students in the academic excellence category, the report says. The category heavily relies on the ranking from MacLean’s top universities, the price of tuition and the academic diversity.
Montreal, with its seven universities, its nearly 200,000 students and its offer of cultural and festive outings,” is the reason for the high score, the report says.
Vancouver placed third overall but ranked consistently fourth in the attractiveness, student life and excellence categories. In the quality of life category, the city did not place in the top 10.
Making up the rest of the best top 10 cities for students, Sherbrooke came fourth, followed by Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City, St. John’s, Hamilton, Ont. and Toronto.