AFRICANGLOBE – What makes a city a great place to be for university students? It is a constellation of many things: reputable universities, strong employment prospects, a good quality of life, a vibrant student community and affordability.
Using such indicators, the QS Best Student Cities index has for time been ranking the world’s best cities for students, but unfortunately Africa doesn’t feature in the top 50. We decided to focus on the continent to figure out which are the 10 best African cities for university students.
Our indicators include; a population of over 250,000, the presence of well-reputed higher education institutions (using the Times Higher Education ranking which measures research impact, the Journals Consortium and Webometrics) cost of living, atmosphere and employment prospects.
When choosing the cost of living variables, rent, cost of a meal and drinking water were used, particularly since in Africa (except some urban areas of South Africa) water cannot be drank out of a tap!
It should however be noted that the 10 cities are not ranked in any particular order.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa
Well-reputed universities: University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University nearby
Atmosphere: Between the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape alone there are at least 35,000 students. One of the world’s top tourism destinations, Cape Town will not be boring for the student. There is huge variety in shopping, local markets, music and eating out options. There are also plenty of bars and clubs and activities to do – such as exploring wine routes or beaches.
Employment prospects: Unemployment in Cape Town is high, 23.9%, however a quick search reveals a high number of websites and vacancies catering for the, skilled and modestly paid, student body.(Note: If you have a valid study permit, you are allowed to work part-time for no more than 20 hours a week – although not during academic vacations)
Cost of living: Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre: $566, inexpensive restaurant meal: $7, water (1.5L): $1