QS Staff Writer

Updated July 12, 2021 Updated July 12

QS Best Student Cities ranking: =43rd

The capital of Belgium and headquarters of the European Union, Brussels is known for its international character – and this is reflected in the high proportion of international students at its universities.

As well as being known for its international diversity and central role in European politics, Brussels is also famed for its chocolate shops, comic strip art, pubs, cafés and attractive architecture.

Two Brussels-based universities feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2020Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) – both ranked within the world’s top 260. The first is predominantly French-speaking and the second Dutch-speaking (these are the two official languages of the city), but both offer courses in English at graduate level.

In addition to a strong score in the student mix indicator of the QS Best Student Cities ranking, Brussels is also ranked within the top 40 for desirability.

When asked to name the best thing about studying in Brussels, one student commented: “The diversity of people and the many internship and job opportunities.

Would Brussels get your vote? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in Brussels

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) 

More about Brussels

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) (195th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in January 2020

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