QS Best Student Cities ranking: 1st
As the French capital continues to deal with the aftermath of the recent terror attacks, it retains its place at the top of the QS Best Student Cities index – topping the list for the fourth year running.
Paris’ strong placing in the ranking is largely due to its high concentration of internationally ranking universities. Home to 18 universities featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, it lays claim to comfortably more world-leading institutions than any other city on the planet except for London, which has 19.
And while Paris does have a reputation for being an expensive place to live, relatively low tuition fees mean that for students, it actually represents a more affordable destination when compared to many other popular student cities – though of course enjoying all the delights of life in this iconic European capital is certainly likely to demand quite a substantial student budget.
Elite Parisian universities and specialized schools such as ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech,Sciences Po Paris, Université Paris-Sorbonne (ParisIV) 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 ‘employer activity’ component of the index.
In the end, all the measurements used to create the QS Best Student Cities still don’t capture the real appeal of studying in Paris – one of the world’s most historic, culturally vital and beautiful cities.
QS ranked universities
More about Paris
Number of universities ranked by QS
Top ranked institution
ENS Paris (23rd in the world)
Students (% of total population)
2.1% (based on ranked institutions)
18.0% (of students at ranked institutions)
Average tuition fees
Global Liveability Ranking
29th (out of 140)
Mercer Cost of Living rank
46th (out of 214)
Cost of a Big Mac
Cost of an iPad
Numbeo safety rank
324th (out of 446)
Numbeo pollution rank
122nd (out of 300)
Transparency International score
22nd (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).