The rankings for student cities, is based on a number of factors including the concentration of top universities in a city, the local jobs market, cultural diversity and quality of life.
The survey, which represents the views of some 50,000 students, is an attempt to identify of the pros and cons of the world's cities for its undergraduates.
London ranks first as it has a higher concentration of world-class institutions that includes Imperial College, University College London, the London School of Economics and King's College.
Dubai, grouped with Sharjah and Ajman, ranks 61st in the world, but still heads the table of Middle East cities. Riyadh was ranked 72nd worldwide and number two in the Middle East, while Cairo took the third spot with a worldwide ranking of 94.
QS currently ranks three universities in the UAE - American University of Sharjah (its highest rated, ranked between 411-420th globally); American University in Dubai and the University of Sharjah. The average fee at the three ranked universities is currently US$21,200. The city ranks 41st for "Desirability", 109th for "Employer Activity", 77th for "Affordability" and 46th for "Student Experience".
The UAE in general, but Dubai in particular, is positioning itself as a player in the knowledge economy. Strong universities, with the research and patents they generate, is key to this.
While the survey suggests there is considerable room for improvement the findings will be seen as positive for the emirate. To grow as a hub for tertiary education, for the region, Dubai does not necessarily need to break into the global top 10. There will be many parents from the Gulf and Near East that would prefer their children in Dubai than perhaps in more Western countries which are further away, geographically and culturally.
The best student cities of 2018:
|12||Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|18||New York||United States|
|35||Los Angeles||United States|
|38||San Francisco||United States|
|56||Newcastle Upon Tyne||United Kingdom|
|60||Washington DC||United States|
|61||Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman||United Arab Emirates|
|71||Cape Town||South Africa|
|80||San Diego||United States|
|100||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil|