Munich and Berlin among the ‘most popular university cities in the world’

Munich is the second most popular university city in the world, according to a new ranking.

Munich and Berlin among the 'most popular university cities in the world'
Young people sitting on scaffolding at the Hackerbrücke bridge in Munich in August. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Felix Hörhager

Berlin, which scored fifth place, is also in demand among students, the new ranking of the best student cities worldwide by higher education network QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) shows. 

QS compared more than 100 study destinations with a population of at least 250,000, and at least two universities for for their 2022 list.

To decide on the most popular places for people to study, they looked at factors including university rankings, safety, desirability and affordability. More than 95,000 students were asked for their views. 

London, which is home to several top universities including UCL and Imperial College London, topped the list again for 2022.

“The city has been a student favourite for years and has plenty of world-class academic institutions for students to choose from,” QS said.

Munich surpassed Berlin, climbing to second place and becoming one of the top destinations in the world for students.

“Munich’s impressive feat in this year’s ranking was no doubt helped by increase in the desirability, employer activity and affordability ranking indicators, probably due to the city’s lower prices compared to other European hubs, quality of life, ease of getting around, nightlife and Bavarian friendliness,” said QS. 

Munich is close to nature. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

The higher education network also highlighted that no tuition fees are charged for undergraduate students at public universities in the majority of Germany, regardless of the student’s nationality, making the country a popular choice for internationals.

Munich is home to institutions including the Technische Universität München (TU) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Berlin, meanwhile, was praised for its diversity. Around 20 percent of students in Berlin come from outside Germany.

High quality of life in Munich – but housing situation difficult

Keerthi Gaddameedi, who came to Munich three years ago to do her Master’s in computer science, told broadcaster BR24 that the international reputation of these universities attracted her to the Bavarian capital. 

But there is a catch. The housing market is a “disaster”, according to Yigit Burdurlu, who is also enrolled at the TU.

“I moved five or six times in one year,” Gaddameedi added. “After a year, I was done with it, went to the student union and said, ‘Give me a room or I’m moving back to India.'”

READ MORE: Housing: How did it get so expensive to live in Munich? 

In the end, they both found accommodation in the Studentenstadt, a large development in the north of Munich where rent is affordable.

In the ranking, Munich scores highly in terms of quality of life.

And when it comes to leisure time, lakes and hiking routes that are easy to reach by car or train beckon. In 2018, Munich was named the world’s most liveable city by British magazine Monocle.

Gaddameedi, 24, also said she felt safe in Munich. 

Neither of the students is sure yet whether they want to stay after graduation.

Burdurlu said: “I want to live in a city where I can afford a house and a garden. That’s difficult in Munich. But if I find something good, a good job, I would love to stay here.”

Elsewhere in the list, Seoul and Tokyo took joint third place with Melbourne coming in 6th, Zurich 7th, Sydney 8th and Boston and Montreal coming in at joint 9th.

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What to know about German parcel delivery price hikes

People sending packages in Germany face higher costs after Deutsche Post subsidiary DHL announced it will increase prices from July.

What to know about German parcel delivery price hikes

Under the changes, sending some packages will become more expensive, both within Germany and internationally.

Logistics group DHL said the price hikes were due to several factors. 

“Increased transport, delivery and wage costs, as well as general cost increases, make price rises in national and cross-border parcel shipping unavoidable,” the company said. 

Meanwhile, there will no longer be a price advantage for buying parcel and package stamps online for domestic shipments. 

The different prices for labels bought online or in store will remain in place for international-bound parcels.

The changes come into force on July 1st.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why people in Germany are being charged to receive small parcels from outside the EU

What are the changes for domestic-bound packages?

The branch and online prices in the product category ‘Päckchen S’ will rise to €3.99 from €3.79.

The price for ‘Päckchen M’ will be €4.79 from July, up from €4.50 for a store-bought label, and €4.39 online. 

The price for the two-kilogram parcel, which is only available online, will rise to €5.49 from €4.99.

Packset and Pluspäckchen products will also cost slightly more due to the increase in paper costs, said DHL. 

However, the price to send a 5kg parcel is going down – it will be €6.99 instead of €7.49.

Prices for the 10kg and 31.5kg parcels will remain unchanged.

A DHL delivery worker carries packages.

A DHL delivery worker carries packages. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Jan Woitas

What’s changing for sending packages abroad?

The cost of many cross-border parcel and small package shipments from Germany will also increase. The logistics company said that’s because of the hike in flight rates as well as higher costs charged by other delivery firms.

The firm said it was “partially passing on to customers what are in some cases steep increases in airfares and the substantial rise in costs charged by delivery partners abroad”. 

There are particularly large price hikes for shipments to the United States.

For instance, from July it will cost €49.99 to send a package weighing up to 5kg to the US (zone 5 in Deutsche Post’s price chart) rather than €38.99. The online price for the same product will be €47.99 instead of €36.99.

The price of sending a packet weighing up to 10kg to the US will go up to €79.99 instead of €54.99. 

For an overview of the new prices, check out this chart. 

READ ALSO: How to challenge high import fees on non-EU parcels in Germany

Are there any other changes to know about?

Deutsche Post says the €1.70 customs data entry fee for shipments to non-EU countries franked at retail outlets will no longer apply from July 1st.

Instead, it will be incorporated directly into the respective retail outlet prices for non-EU shipments at a rate of €1.

The company is also pushing its sustainability strategy, with its GoGreen service being included for all products from July 1st, 2022, without customers having to pay a surcharge. “This is already the case for domestic parcel shipments,” said the firm.