Coventry has been named the third best student city in England and finished level in the world rankings with one of the biggest cities in the United States of America.
The city was placed joint 40th overall with Chicago in the QS Best Student Cities 2023 – finishing above the likes of Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, and Bristol, as well as cities such as Madrid, Cape Town, Milan, Dubai, Washington DC, and San Francisco worldwide.
From England, only London – which topped the list – and Manchester finished above Coventry in the rankings, which are researched and generated by Quacquarelli Symonds, a world-leading provider of analytics and insight to the global higher education sector.
The QS Best Student Cities list uses the opinions of current students to rate university locations on factors including affordability and desirability.
It also looks at academic university rankings, student mix, employers’ activity in the city and student voice.
The report from QS sited UK City of Culture 2021 as one reason for ranking, also indicating a strong rating for graduate employers.
Paul Jones is managing director of Destination Coventry, the city’s destination management organisation, which also incorporates Visit Coventry.
He said this is fantastic news for the city and further evidence of the boost that students give to the visitor economy in Coventry.
“To have achieved such a high ranking, not only nationally but internationally too, is fantastic and testament to the tireless work the city and its universities do to make Coventry an attractive destination,” said Paul.
“From the report, it is clear that City of Culture has played a part and has further enhanced our reputation with students – regionally, nationally and internationally.
“Looking at graduation events alone and the influx of visitors, the benefit that a strong student population brings to the visitor economy is fantastic. That is only going to be a positive for our hospitality businesses and provide a boost to the sector.
“The benefits also come after graduation, with more students staying in the city as graduates with our excellent employers – particularly in the automotive, engineering and manufacturing sectors. This again means more customers for businesses in the city and a further boost to our visitor economy.
“This is certainly something to be proud of for the city and to be ranked above some huge, high-profile cities worldwide is brilliant.”
QS referenced that Coventry University is one of only a few institutions to offer a course dedicated to automotive design.
Coventry University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Latham CBE said: “We are proud of our city’s rich motoring heritage and our students, alumni and academics who continue to drive global innovation in the sector.
“Coventry city centre has been transformed in recent years and helps us deliver a student experience of which we can all be proud.
“The UK City of Culture celebrations, the Turner Prize and Radio One’s Big Weekend have helped open people’s eyes to our vibrant and diverse city.
“We know our students enjoy and benefit from our campus being a part of the city centre and we are also working to make our campus even more accessible and welcoming to the people of Coventry.
“We are continuing to create sustainable green spaces in the city centre like Starley Gardens and our new Faculty of Arts and Humanities building will have a gallery and café which will be open to the public.”
The survey highlighted University of Warwick’s collaborations between academia and industry, particularly with Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG).
Andrew Todd, Director of Regional Strategy and Partnerships at the University of Warwick, said: “Coventry is a fantastic city and we are proud to be an active partner in its continued development.
“There is no doubt that the City of Culture 2021 has transformed the cultural life of Coventry and also the city itself through the investments in attractions such as the Cathedral, Belgrade Theatre, FarGo Village and of course Warwick Arts Centre.
“Many of our students become part of city life, volunteering in local communities and working on placements in local businesses. Many stay on in the city and the region after they graduate, strengthening links between the University and local industry, as well as teaching and healthcare.”