The best student cities to live in across the world right now, according to new rankings

The QS Best Student Cities 2025 Ranking is out

Your uni might come top in rankings for boring things like research quality, but what is your city actually like to live in as a student? QS has just released its Best Student Cities Ranking 2025 and it ranks what cities around the world are like to live in as a student.

The ranking takes into account factors such as the proportion of the city’s population that are students, how many unis the city has which are in the QS World University Rankings, how safe the city is, affordability, pollution levels, employment levels and the percentage of students who decided to stay in the city after graduating.

Two British universities have made it into the top 15 of the ranking, with London actually taking the top spot overall.

So, these are the best student cities you can live in across the world right now, according to the QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2025:

15. Singapore

The 15th best student city to live in across the world right now is Singapore. Its top unis, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University now rank in eighth and 15th place in the QS World University Rankings. But even though tuition fees have gone down recently, Singapore is ranked 125th in the world for affordability.

14. Vienna

Vienna has an overall score of 90.1, putting it in 14th place in the world. The city is home to Austria’s two highest-ranked universities, the University of Vienna (137th in the world) and the Vienna University of Technology (190th). It also has some of the lowest tuition fees for international students and ranks at 67th in the world for affordability.

13. Edinburgh

The only Scottish uni to make the top 15 is Edinburgh. Edinburgh has four unis, including the Russell Group University of Edinburgh which ranks 27th in the world overall. A much smaller city compared to others on the list, it has a population of 488,000.

12. Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe

This combined area of three cities, Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe (also known as Keihanshin) is home to over 19 million people and contains eight universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings. Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe earns one of its highest scores for affordability, ranking 50th globally.

11. Toronto

At 11th overall, this year, three of Toronto’s universities feature in the QS World University Rankings. The highest-ranked of these is the University of Toronto, placing 25th in the world.The city ranks joint 20th worldwide for employer activity.

10. Montreal

Just squeezing into the top 10, Montreal gets an overall score of 92.1 out of 100. In terms of affordability, Montréal is the joint 75th most affordable city in the world and ranks 15th overall for student view.

9. Berlin

Just above Zurich, Berlin gets an overall score of 94.4 out of 100. It has three unis featured in the QS World Uni rankings Berlin is known for its high quality of living. 20 per cent of all the students in Berlin come from outside Germany

8. Zurich

At eighth overall, although Zurich ranks 98th for affordability, its high living costs are countered with its really low tuition fees which average at only $2,100. It is third for desirability in the world.

7. Paris

With an overall score of 94.6 out of 100 Paris has 12 unis featured in the top 10 of the QS World rankings. It is sixth in the world for employer activity and 15th for desirability overall,

6. Sydney

It might be below Melbourne but at number six, Sydney is up one place from last year. Although scoring really low for affordability at 130th, it’s ranked fourth for student mix due to its large and diverse student community.

5. Melbourne

Melbourne is fifth in the QS Student Cities Ranking 2025. It also ranks fifth for desirability and second for student view. There are 7 Melbourne-based unis that made it into the QS World Ranking, the best of these being the University of Melbourne, at 13th in the world.

4. Munich

At fourth overall, Munich has a score of 97.7 out of 100. The second German city to make the 1op 10, Munich is ranked eighth for employer activity. But the German students really are thriving as no tuition fees are charged for undergrads at public unis in the majority of Germany, regardless of nationality.

3. Seoul

The third best student city is Seoul in South Korea. Seoul actually tops the rankings indicator, with a massive 20 of its unis making it into the QS World Rankings 2025, the highest being Seoul National University, at 31st in the world. Seoul is ranked second for employer activity but 91st for affordability.

2. Tokyo

The capital of Japan, Tokyo is the second best city you can live in as a student for 2025 It is also the best in Asia. It has an overall score of 99.2 out of 100 and comes top overall for both employer activity and desirability. But Tokyo is so big that even with 18 internationally ranked unis it still has a very low proportionate student population.

1. London

best student cities

Via Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

And officially the number one city you can live in as a student across the planet is London. With an overall perfect score of 100, London is home to a huge 18 unis featured in the QS World uni Rankings 2025, with two of these (Imperial and UCL) making it into the top 10. London is fourth for employer activity and third for student view overall. However, no surprise that London ranks poorly for affordability, at 126th overall.

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