Skip to content

QS reveals the world’s best cities for students


Nearly 90% have become less affordable, QS finds

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, global higher education analysts, published today the 10th edition of the QS Best Student Cities rankings, which enable students to compare 140 premier educational destinations, including 30 new entries. London retains its status as the world’s best student city for the fourth consecutive edition. Munich (2nd =) shares its silver medal with Seoul (2nd =). Zurich (4th) and Melbourne (5th) break into the top-5 while Edinburgh (10th) joins the top-10.

Methodology : QS ranks cities with a population of at least 250,000, and with at least two universities placing in the QS World University Rankings. The ranking offers a powerful lens into the sentiments of both prospective and former students, with over 98,000 survey responses contributing to the Desirability (prospective students) and Student View (former students) indexes.

2023 2022 City
1 1 London
2= 2 Munich
2= 3= Seoul
4 7 Zurich
5 6 Melbourne
6 5 Berlin
7 3= Tokyo
8 9= Paris
9 8 Sydney
10 12 Edinburgh
11 9= Boston
12 15 Hong Kong
13 17 Singapore
14 9= Montreal
15 13 Toronto
16 14 Vienna
17 19= Osaka
18 16 New York
19 19= Lausanne
20 18 Vancouver

London’s leadership is supported by:

– Its high concentration of world-class universities; it achieves the world’s second-best score in the Rankings indicator.
– Highly positive feedback from students that have studied in the city: it scores 98.5/100 for Student View, a result bettered only by Berlin.
– Outstanding career opportunities for graduates: it places fourth in the Employer Activity metric, scoring 92.7/100.
– Its high levels of openness to international students, which see it achieve the world’s fifth-best score (94.9/100) for Student Mix.

Ben Sowter, QS Senior VP, said: “Responses to our surveys from students that have studied in London make it clear that it offers outstanding cultural, economic, and educational opportunities. With two of the world’s ten best universities situated in the city, it remains a world-leading educational hub. Worryingly, cities are broadly becoming less affordable for students by QS’ measures, with just under 90% declining in our Affordability metric.”

Other highlights:

– UK, Germany, and Australia are each home to two of the world’s ten best student cities.
– Paris rises to the eighth place. Barcelona (31st) is Spain’s top-city.
Canada boasts three top-20 student cities, while US, Japan and Switzerland have two each.
– The US highest-ranking cities are Boston (11th) and NYC (18th).
– All the 18 US ranked cities decline in the Affordability indicator.
– Los Angeles and Kuala Lumpur break into the top-30.
– Seoul (2nd) is Asia’s top-ranked city.
– China (Mainland) top entry is Beijing (29th)
– India doubles its representation. Mumbai (103rd) is the highest ranked.
– Latin America’s number-one student destination is Buenos Aires (23rd)
– Sao Paulo (86th) and new-entry Rio de Janeiro (121st) are Brazil’s ranked cities.
– Africa’s top city for students is Cape Town (78th).
– Dubai (51st) is the top-ranked city in the Middle East.
– The fastest rising cities are Almaty (75th), Abu Dhabi (71st) and Ankara (77th).

Logo –

Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds