Edinburgh

QS Staff Writer

Updated December 15, 2020 Updated December 15

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 15th

Up one place this year, Edinburgh has been ranked as the UK’s second-best student city after London for the fifth time in a row, beating all of its other entries.

With a relatively small population compared to many of the cities in the index, the Scottish capital has a large student community proportionate to its overall size, meaning it scores especially well for student mix. Notably, 36 percent of students at ranked universities in Edinburgh are international, providing a diverse and inclusive atmosphere.

Known for its striking castle, historic old town and massive annual events such as the Edinburgh International Festival and New Year’s Hogmanay street party, the city is also home to several of the best universities in the UK. The University of Edinburgh is ranked 20th in the QS World University Rankings® 2020 – the fifth-highest UK entry.

Average fees for international students are a little higher than in cities such as London or Manchester. However, for undergraduate students from within the EU (except those from England, Wales or Northern Ireland), university fees are entirely subsidized by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). So, depending on where you’re from, Edinburgh could be surprisingly affordable. Edinburgh has risen 11 places in the affordability indicator this year, placing at 82nd worldwide.

Edinburgh achieves one of its highest scores (11th) in the student view indicator, showing that students in the city are undoubtedly enjoying their experience, and are often keen to stay after graduation. One survey respondent commented, “Edinburgh is the best city in the world. Not just the beautiful architecture and setting, the people make it great. Friendly and always accepting, I will never forget my time in Edinburgh.

Studying in Edinburgh? Share your experience.

Internationally ranked universities in Edinburgh

University of EdinburghHeriot-Watt University; Edinburgh Napier University

More about Edinburgh

Number of universities ranked by QS

3

Highest-ranked institution

University of Edinburgh (20th)

Population (including wider metropolitan area)

794,000

Average international fees (at ranked unis)

US$20,700

Desirability rank

28th

Employer Activity rank

37th

Affordability rank

82nd

Student View rank

11th

 

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 December 2020

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