QS Best Student Cities ranking: 1

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This is Paris’ second year at the top of the QS Best Student Cities, after it headed the first edition of the index in 2012.

So, what explains the French capital’s number one position? Well, for starters, it has no less than 17 universities assessed within the 2013/14 QS World University Rankings® – comfortably more world-leading institutions than any other city on the planet except for London, which has 18.

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. That said, enjoying all the delights of life in Paris is certainly likely to demand quite a substantial student budget!

Parisian graduates are targeted by a vast range of employers across the continent, and elite Parisian universities such as ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique, Sciences Po and the Sorbonne have produced some of the most important philosophers, theorists, scientists, and mathematicians of the last 100 years, not to mention seminal movements in literature, film and art.

Students in Paris often enjoy extensive access to leading academics, with small class sizes and intensive teaching, despite the low fees. Paris is frequently rated as one of the most liveable cities in Europe, and scores well for quality of living.

But finally, 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.

Read more about the top universities in Paris >

QS ranked universities*:

ENS Paris; Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech ; Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) ; Université Paris-Sud 11; Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7 ; Sciences Po Paris ; Université Paris-Sorbonne (ParisIV) ;  Université Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne ; Université Paris Descartes ; École des Ponts ParisTech ; Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan ; Université Paris Dauphine ; Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2) ; Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense ; ESCP Europe ; ESSEC Business School, Paris ; HEC Paris

More about Paris

Number of universities ranked by QS*


Top ranked institution

ENS Paris (28th in the world)



Average university fees


Mercer Quality Of Living rank


Mercer Cost of Living rank


Cost of a Big Mac**


Cost of an IPad***


*Universities assessed within the QS World University Rankings®.

**Based on the Big Mac Index, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

*** Based on the iPad Index, published by Commsec.

See the full methodology of the QS Best Student Cities here >