QS Staff Writer

Updated July 29, 2021 Updated July 29

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 7th

Despite dropping two places in the 2019 QS Best Student Cities ranking, the French capital remains solidly in the top 10, and now ranks at a (still very impressive) seventh place.

Paris’ consistently strong performance in the ranking is largely due to its high concentration of internationally ranked universities. Home to 12 universities featured in the QS World University Rankings® (either overall or in specific indicators), it lays claim to more world-leading institutions than almost any city on the planet – with the exceptions of Seoul and London (both have 18).

While Paris does have a (justified) reputation for its high cost of living, this is to a large extent balanced out by low tuition fees. It is getting cheaper too – the city has climbed 16 places for affordability this year to now rank 76th.

Of course, despite this, enjoying all the delights of life in this iconic European capital will still certainly stretch your student budget, especially if you’re into haute couture and haute cuisine.…

Elite Parisian universities and specialized schools such as ENS ParisEcole Polytechnique ParisTech, Sciences Po Paris and HEC Paris have produced some of the most important philosophers, theorists, scientists, politicians, business leaders and mathematicians of the last 100 years, along with seminal movements in literature, film and art.

Today, Parisian graduates are targeted by a vast range of employers across the continent, as is reflected in the city’s strong score for employer activity in the ranking.

Though it’s no longer in the top five, the City of Love still has a place in the hearts of prospective students across from the world, with one student, commenting in our student survey that they loved “being surrounded by beautiful monuments, history and culture,” while another said: “the nightlife is incredible”.

Will it climb back towards the number one spot next year? Have your say.

Internationally ranked universities in Paris

Université PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres); Ecole Polytechnique; Sorbonne University; CentraleSupélec; Sciences Po Paris; TELECOM ParisTech; Ecole des Ponts ParisTech; University of Paris; Université Paris-Sud 11; Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; ENS Paris-Saclay; Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2)

More about Paris

Number of institutions ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Université PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres) (ranked 53rd)



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 2014 . It was last updated in January 2020

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