Get us in your inbox


London is the world’s best city to be a student (apparently)

By Megan Carnegie

Calling all London students: finally there’s some factual ammo to trump your mates studying at further-flung unis. Yes, they spent every waking hour of Fresher’s Week in fancy dress at Pryzm while you navigated the minefield of London’s overpriced bars, and they shell out £200 a month for a cushy three-bed house while you’re literally living in a cupboard. But a new ranking shows you’re still better off studying in the Smoke.

Based on our first-class universities, jobs market, diversity of culture and quality of life, London has been ranked as the best student city in the whole damn world. The capital has bagged the top spot on the QS higher education group’s leaderboard of 30 student cities, rising from third to first place since 2017. It’s also London’s first win since the global rankings launched. Hurrah!

So how did we nudge out the 2017 champ, Montreal? First up, our concentration of excellent higher education institutions (Imperial College, King’s College and University College London, to name but a few) and the endless choice of museums, theatres, cinemas and restaurants. It’s also the best city in which to set yourself up with employers and get that dream job after uni. Overseas and home students alike feel welcomed by our high levels of tolerance and diversity too.

But it’s not all golden – the city was marked down for its affordability, or lack of. No surprise there: Londoners have the least disposable income in the country and our travel cards are the world’s priciest. If money is your main concern, you’re better off studying in QS’s most affordable cities – Budapest or Kuala Lumpur – to eke out your loan. But if you’re happy to survive on own-brand baked beans while embracing life as a culture vulture and leaving with a degree from a world-class uni, London’s the place for you. We’ll raise a student-union 2-for-1 shot to that.

Love London? Sign up here to get Time Out tips in your inbox every week.

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next