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QS Best Student Cities ranking: joint 39th with Prague

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Shanghai, China’s largest city by population, is not only the world’s busiest container port; it is also a huge global center for finance, commerce, culture – and also education.

Six universities in Shanghai feature within the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, led by Fudan University at joint 51st in the world and Shanghai Jiao Tong University at 70th.

Much like other thriving Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Seoul, Shanghai is often described in terms of contrasts – old and new, East and West, well-preserved traditions alongside rapid development – and there’s certainly more than enough to make each day different, however much time you spend here. The city lines the banks of the Yangtze River, where it meets the East China Sea, and has a striking, and growing, skyline of skyscrapers. The Shanghai Tower, completed late in 2013, is the tallest structure of any kind in China and the second tallest building in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Back at street level, you’ll find buzzing marketplaces, ancient temples, cuisines from around the world, theaters and galleries, all interwoven with a rich and interesting history. While living costs are fairly high – Shanghai is now rated the 6th most expensive city in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey – this is offset by relatively reasonable tuition fees.

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QS ranked universities


More about Shanghai

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution

Fudan University (joint 51st in the world)



Students (% of total population)

0.6% (based on ranked institutions)

International students

6.0% (of students at ranked institutions)

Average tuition fees


Global Liveability Ranking

78th (out of 140)

Mercer Cost of Living rank

6th (out of 214)

Cost of a Big Mac


Cost of an iPad


Numbeo safety rank

77th (out of 446)

Numbeo pollution rank

33rd (out of 300)

Transparency International score

80th (out of 177)

Sources: QS World University RankingsGlobal 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).

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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