Montreal is ranked the top city for the best overall
return on overseas undergraduate education, followed by London and Hong Kong.
Dublin, Ireland has a 26th ranking.
A new index created by The Economist Intelligence
Unit, benchmarks 80 cities by the potential return for foreign students from an
undergraduate education at institutions in those cities. The Sea Turtle Index,
created for China's Bank of Communications, measures more than just raw
educational quality: it also factors in the likely cost of that education, the
potential for returns on financial and real-estate investments, the availability
of work experience opportunities for overseas graduates, and the depth of
cultural experience that an educational location will offer. By these criteria,
Montreal comes top, followed by London and Hong Kong.
Key findings of the index include:
open environment pays dividends
An open environment pays
dividends: The importance of
an environment that is open both to overseas students and to investments
their parents may want to make is strongly reflected in the index. The city
of Montreal in Canada takes first place for this reason. The quality of
education at institutions in the city is important, but Canada’s welcoming
immigration policies, offering good opportunities for employment after
graduation, also make it an appealing destination. Its comparative openness
to foreign investors and its cultural diversity also boost its
attractiveness as a destination for international undergraduates.
Richer Asian cities score well: The
index reveals a shifting educational landscape, with some of Asia’s more
affluent cities scoring highly. Hong
Kong makes it to third place in the headline index, while some cities with
younger universities in emerging markets come out surprisingly strongly.
Hong Kong’s high overall ranking reflects an appealing combination of
openness to investment, soaring real-estate returns and an increasingly
Cost and limited work experience potential push down many US
the index takes into account more than just educational quality, some cities
hosting leading educational institutions—particularly in the US—emerge
weaker than expected. This is the case for Boston (which in the index
includes Cambridge, Massachusetts)—the highest-ranked US city at seventh
place overall—despite the exemplary quality of many of its educational
institutions. Their relatively
lower scores in terms of potential work experience after graduation also
count against US cities.
the Sea Turtle Index
What is a “sea
In Chinese culture, a “sea turtle” is a graduate of
an overseas university who has reaped the benefits of a top-rate global
education and immersion in another culture, and is typically coveted by
employers upon return to his or her home country. (The name is apt in Mandarin
as it sounds similar to the phrase “return from overseas”.) In this index, the
meaning is extended to any undergraduate student who intends to invest the
returns on an international education in his or her home country.
What factors does
the index consider?
Educational returns: how
highly valued the education is elsewhere in the world, balanced against
whether it represents good value for money.
Financial returns: how
open the investment environment is to non-nationals, and how high are
policy, economic and currency volatility risks that may affect returns on
Real estate returns: the
potential of the local real estate market, the likely returns on investment
in the form of rent and how taxes will affect those returns.
Work experience: the
openness of the local job market to overseas skilled applicants, whether
overseas students are supported by their university in seeking jobs and
whether the local economy offers high-pay, low-tax opportunities.
Social experience: whether
students are exposed to world-class cultural experiences and can study among
a truly multicultural student body.
How was the index
compile the index, the EIU ascribed different weightings to sub-indices
representing each of the five factors listed above (themselves compiled from a
variety of separate indicators). Educational returns received the highest
weighting since, ultimately, this factor is likely to influence most people’s
decisions more strongly than any other.
How were cities
chosen for inclusion in the index?
The index clusters the top 300 universities from the
QS World University Rankings in major cities, allowing for richer data and
greater regional diversity in results. The EIU used OECD statistics on the
percentage of international students going to each country to decide on the
number of cities to include per country.
The full index rankings, and a white paper analysing
the results, are available at www.seaturtleindex.com
Communications is one of China’s top five commercial banks, with around 87,000
employees at home and abroad. Headquartered in Shanghai, it has 2,648 branches
in China as well as 11 overseas subsidiaries and representative offices. The bank conducts a wide range of businesses,
including banking, financing, insurance, securities, lease and trust services.
Communications was founded in 1908 and is the oldest modern commercial bank in
China. It was reconstructed into modern China’s first nationwide joint-stock
commercial bank in 1987 and was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in June