09 May 2018
The top 30 rankings for student cities, produced by the QS higher education data analysts, has previously put Montreal and Paris in first place.
The ratings are based on factors such as the number of top universities in a city, the local jobs market, the diversity of the culture and the quality of life.
But London ranked poorly on one of the measures - affordability.
The ranking of university cities, rather than the quality of institutions, is produced by the QS higher education group, which publishes the annual World University Rankings.
The comparisons, which include a survey of the views of 50,000 students, are an attempt to quantify some of the attractions and disadvantages of cities for students.
For students in London there is a higher concentration of world-class institutions than in any other city, including Imperial College, University College London, the London School of Economics and King’s College.
Students also have access to the cultural life of museums, theatres, cinemas and restaurants.
It is also seen as a good place to connect with employers and get a job.
London achieved a high rating for being a very international city, with high levels of tolerance and diversity, so that overseas students would not feel isolated or excluded.
But when it comes to cost of living and affordability, London does badly, being seen as expensive and difficult for student budgets.
Ben Sowter, research director at QS, says the results show that London “remains a great place to study, despite eye-watering costs”.