Buenos Aires has truly been on a winning streak. From last week’s announcement that we house the best comic book store in the world, to today’s reveal that Palermo holds the best pizza place in South America, there must be magic in the air. Still, there’s even more to celebrate this week. Yesterday, for the fifth year in a row, the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), an international consulting group dedicated to assessing higher education issues, announced what all the interns here at The Bubble already know quite well: Buenos Aires is the best city in Latin America to be a university student.
The rankings took into account a variety of factors, including the number and performance levels of universities each city offers, the extent to which companies invest in recruiting potential employees from those institutions, the financial burden facing students, and the students’ general quality of life. According to La Nación, to arrive at their definitive ranking of “Best Student Cities,” QS looked at both numerical measures and qualitative surveys of over 90,000 students about their experiences.
No other city in Latin America houses quite as many universities on QS’ ranked list as Buenos Aires, but what really tipped the capital over into the No. 1 slot is the presence of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) within its borders, which is considered the best university in the region, according to QS’ World University rankings. Buenos Aires also beats out Chile’s capital, Santiago, and Mexico City in terms of the quality of life and richness of non-academic experiences it offers to its students.
The four “best for students” Latin American cities that follow Buenos Aires are according to QS, in order: Mexico City, Santiago, San Pablo, and Bogotá.
QS also develops global assessments, with scopes larger than just Latin America. In the QS list for the Best Student Cities worldwide, Buenos Aires came in 31st, dropping from last year when it occupied the 25th slot. Only two other Spanish-speaking cities made this Top 50 compilation, with Barcelona coming in 21st and Madrid coming in 27th. The cities that hold the top three positions are London, Tokyo, and Melbourne.
“The number of international students in [Buenos Aires] has steadily grown since 2016. The city has established itself as the best in the region, but what’s new is that it now it’s beginning to join a major league, with Madrid and Barcelona,” said Fernando Straface, the General Secretary of International Relations of Buenos Aires.
“This is excellent news for many reasons,” he continued. “First, because diversity of perspectives enriches university discussions and enhances the talent of all students, both local and international. Second, the arrival of students has a positive economic impact. Third, because every student who returns to his country becomes an ambassador of Buenos Aires abroad, and thus continues to promote the city.”