One of the world’s leading financial centers and most densely populated pieces of land, Hong Kong has long been regarded as a meeting point for different cultures, with a truly global outlook and atmosphere.
Hong Kong owes its high position in the QS Best Student Cities 2016 index to its high density of high-ranking universities, high rating from graduate employers, relatively diverse student community, and a strong overall score in the “desirability” category. It ranks 21st (out of 372) in the Numbeo safety index, and 46th (out of 140) in The Economist’s 2015 Global Liveability Ranking.
Hong Kong boasts many of the leading universities in Asia. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the University of Hong Kong, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong are all ranked among the world’s top 60, with four more Hong Kong institutions featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16.
As well as a density of higher education excellence which only a few cities can beat, Hong Kong also has one of the world’s most internationally diverse student populations, so those who choose to study abroad here will be in good company.
In terms of affordability, the picture is a little more complex. Rent is exorbitantly expensive, but general living expenses such as eating out and transport remain low. International tuition fees are somewhere in the mid-range – much lower than studying in the US, for example, but higher than those charged in Western European countries such as France or Germany.
If you value peace, quiet and personal space, then life in this packed and fast-paced metropolis might be a little daunting, but for those who really want to experience city life in its most heightened form, Hong Kong is without doubt one of the most dynamic and diverse study destinations around.
QS ranked universities
More about Hong Kong
Number of universities ranked by QS
Top ranked institution
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (28th in the world)
Students (% of total population)
1.3% (based on ranked institutions)
30.0% (of students at ranked institutions)
Average tuition fees
Global Liveability Ranking
46th (out of 140)
Mercer Cost of Living rank
2nd (out of 214)
Cost of a Big Mac
Cost of an iPad
Numbeo safety rank
21st (out of 446)
Numbeo pollution rank
120th (out of 300)
Transparency International score
15th (out of 177)
Sources: QS World University Rankings; Global Liveability Ranking (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); Big Mac Index (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); iPad Index (Commsec); Cost of Living Survey (Mercer); Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International).