These Russell Group uni cities have been named the best to live in across the globe right now

Fallowfield pulling through


Your uni city might be full of rats, and the local Co-Op probably sells out of tinnies the MOMENT the temperature gets above 20 degrees and literally everyone crams into your local bit of grass, but it turns out 11 Russell Group uni cities have been named some of the best to live in across the world right now.

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.

Nearly half of all the 24 Russell Group unis made it to the rankings, ranging from the top spot all the way down to 64th.

So these are the Russell Group uni cities that have been recognised as some of the best places to live as a student across the planet right now:

64. Sheffield

Sheffield is the lowest ranking Russell Group uni city to make the ranking. With an overall score of 70.4, its best score comes from its student mix ranking (where it places 30th) with 14,300 students coming from outside the UK.

54. Liverpool

Liverpool is the 54th best uni city to live in across the world. It ranks 71st for affordability and 18th for student view of the city.

53. Leeds

The ninth-best Russell Group uni city, Leeds ranks at 53rd. With two unis making it into the QS World rankings, Leeds gets its highest score in the student view indicator, ranking joint 36th. This is based on a student survey which collects responses from students around the world.

51. Nottingham

Just missing out on the top 50 in the world, Nottingham is the 51st best student city and eighth best Russell Group. It ranks 82nd for affordability and 61st for desirability.

48. Birmingham

Just missing out on the top 50 in the world, Nottingham is the 51st best student city and eighth best Russell Group. It ranks 82nd for affordability and 61st for desirability.

48. Birmingham

At 45th overall, Bristol is the sixth-best Russell Group uni city to live in right now. Bristol’s highest scores are for the student mix indicator (ranking joint 19th) and the student voice indicator (ranking 26th).

39. Newcastle

The fifth-best Russell Group uni city, Newcastle is 39th in the world. It has an overall score of 80.9 out of 100 and scores highly for student view (25th overall).

33. Glasgow

The second highest-scoring Scottish uni, Glasgow is 33rd overall. It scores extremely highly for student view at 5th but is poor in affordability at joint 95th.

27. Manchester

The third-best Russell Group uni city is Manchester, scoring 27th best on the planet. It has three unis featuring in the QS World Rankings and scores 80th for affordability,

13. Edinburgh

The only other UK uni to make it into the top 20 is Edinburgh. At 13th overall, it is the second-best Russell Group uni city. A much smaller city compared to others on the list, it has a population of 488,000.

1. London

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, it is no surprise that London ranks poorly for affordability, at 126th overall.

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