Montreal has much to celebrate in being recently named the top city in the world for students, writes McGill University Principal Suzanne Fortier, but the city and its institutions still have much work to do to make the most of “an unprecedented opportunity to fulfill the potential of Montreal to draw talent from around the world.” Fortier highlights an aging domestic population as one of the most urgent reasons why Montreal needs to attract more immigration. The McGill principal adds that the city will also need to attract the world’s very best talent in order to maintain a vital society and strong workforce. “However, despite our city’s considerable attractions,” Fortier notes, “despite the clear benefits that international talent brings, Montreal and Quebec have room to improve.” The author offers a number of options to help Montreal move forward, which include the creation of a coordinated talent recruitment and retention strategy.
Montreal has beaten out London, Berlin, Boston, and Tokyo as the world’s best city for students, according to rankings compiled by Quacquarelli Symonds. The Montreal Gazette reports that Montreal’s desirability, affordability, and positive reviews from students propelled it from seventh place in 2016 to first place 2017. Montreal’s ranking was reportedly influenced heavily by the experience of students who have studied there. “A lot of people want to study in London, but those who have studied in London don’t necessarily have as positive an experience as they do in other places,” said Ben Sowter, head of research for QS. Other Canadian cities on the list included Vancouver (10th) and Toronto (11th). Ottawa received a first-place ranking in a category based on student perceptions.