Student life doesn't get much better than in Melbourne (Issue 5, 2012)

MelbourneAn inaugural ranking of the most student-friendly cities in the world ranked Melbourne fourth, behind only Paris, London and Boston.

The rankings were conducted by the research group behind the QS World University Rankings. The ranking was based on 12 key criteria, including quality of living, the number of internationally ranked universities, the proportion of overseas students and affordability.

Melbourne scored 95 out of a possible 100 points for the quality of living and 84 for employer feedback regarding the quality of graduates.

‘This research confirms that Australia provides one of the world's most favourable study environments,’ says QS head of research Ben Sowter.

Ana Nurul Laila came to Melbourne from Indonesia to study a Master of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at La Trobe University. She has loved her experiences in Melbourne.

‘My most enjoyable experience here in Melbourne is the trams. I travel a lot on trams. I really like to go from end to end on a tram line. Just so I can go places and see how Australia really looks and sounds.’

When recalling her first experience with AFL at Melbourne’s iconic MCG, Ana can’t help but laugh.

‘It was a game between St Kilda versus another team that I cannot remember. I was asked by my Indonesian friend, who has been here in Melbourne for five years and who is a huge fan of the St Kilda FC.

‘The atmosphere [at the game] was crazy. I could still feel it even when I was on the train home. Black and red was everywhere. It was loud and crowded. I didn't understand the rules of the game, and I still don't, but really enjoyed myself. I could scream and shout and laugh at I don't know what!’

Executive Director, La Trobe International, Liz Stinson thinks the results of the survey confirm what other surveys have previously shown, and that is that Melbourne is first and foremost a wonderful multicultural environment in which to live, study, work, and play.

‘Our international student body contributes so much to the cultural diversity we experience across the metropolitan area and out to Victoria’s regional centres as well. We hope that this sort of international recognition for Melbourne as a study destination will be seen by our current students as affirming the very clever choice they made to study here…and also, of course, that it will provide additional encouragement to growing numbers of international students to study at La Trobe in Melbourne and regional Victoria, into the future,’ says Ms Stinson.

As of November last year, more than 160 000 international students from 165 countries were enrolled in Victorian education institutions, including 72 288 in higher education and 55 384 in VET (vocational education and training) programs.

While the strength of the Australian dollar had slowed demand from international students, the ranking reinforces Melbourne's reputation as one of the best study destinations in the world.