QS Best Student Cities ranking: 6th
Small but densely populated, Singapore's reputation as a center of educational excellence has flourished in recent years. Following the progress made by its top universities in the QS World University Rankings® – the National University of Singapore (NUS) now ranks 12th in the world, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) 13th – the city itself has gained nine places in this year’s QS Best Student Cities index.
Alongside growing prominence in the global higher education sector, Singapore remains renowned for its prosperity and low levels of crime and unemployment. In keeping with the city’s strong corporate reputation, Singaporean graduates are much sought-after by international employers, especially throughout Asia.
The downside to Singapore's high standard of living is correspondingly high prices. Singapore is ranked the 4th most expensive out of 214 cities in Mercer’s 2015 Cost of Living Survey, and tuition fees have also increased recently, particularly for international students.
On the plus side, one thing you certainly won't need to shell out for in Singapore is central heating; its position next to the equator means it is equally scorching all year round. And if you fancy exchanging the concrete jungle for the real thing, Singapore is surrounded by tropical scenery, both throughout adjacent Malaysia, and in nearby exotic destinations such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
QS ranked universities
More about Singapore
Number of universities ranked by QS
Top ranked institution
National University of Singapore (12th in the world)
Students (% of total population)
1.2% (based on ranked institutions)
30.0% (of students at ranked institutions)
Average tuition fees
Global Liveability Ranking
49th (out of 140)
Mercer Cost of Living rank
4th (out of 214)
Cost of a Big Mac
Cost of an iPad
Numbeo safety rank
11th (out of 446)
Numbeo pollution rank
213th (out of 300)
Transparency International score
5th (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).