QS Best Student Cities ranking: 5th
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.
Climbing two places in the 2015 edition of the QS Best Student Cities index, Hong Kong is now Asia’s leading entry, with Tokyo following in 7th place. It owes its high position to its relatively diverse student community, high rating from graduate employers, and a strong overall score in the “desirability” category. For instance, it’s ranked 8th (out of 372) in the Numbeo safety index, and 31st (out of 140) in The Economist’s 2014 Global Liveability Ranking.
Hong Kong boasts many of the leading universities in Asia; the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong are all ranked among the world’s top 50, with four more Hong Kong institutions featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2014/15.
As well as a density of higher education excellence which only a few other 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
University of Hong Kong (28th in the world)
Students (% of total population)
1.3% (based on ranked institutions)
28.0% (of students at ranked institutions)
Average tuition fees
Global Liveability Ranking
31st (out of 140)
Mercer Cost of Living rank
3rd (out of 214)
Cost of a Big Mac
Cost of an iPad
Numbeo safety rank
8th (out of 372)
Numbeo pollution rank
139th (out of 299)
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).