Universities in Auckland - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities

Study in Auckland

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Niamh Ollerton

Updated Jun 30, 2022



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New Zealand’s largest city places joint 37th in the QS Best Student Cities ranking this year, with a particularly strong score for student mix, thanks to its large and diverse student community, combined with an inclusive and tolerant culture.

Other high scores for Auckland come in the desirability rank (34th) and employer activity rank (51st) indicators, showing it’s both an in-demand and comfortable place to live, and a favoured recruiting ground for graduate employers.

Its weak spot is affordability (112th), due to comparatively high tuition fees and living costs. But don’t let costs dissuade you – the city has plenty to offer in return, including two universities featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2023.

If you're interested in studying in Auckland, it's worth noting that according to QS World University Rankings 2023 data, there are 46,600 students in total, of which 18,900 are international.

Auckland is particularly well-known for its multicultural diversity, and (like most of New Zealand), for the wide range of adrenaline-fuelled activities on offer in and around the local area – climbing, jet-skiing, diving, snowboarding, sailing, canyoning, surfing – pretty much anything you can think of. This is definitely a good choice for students who like to unwind by getting active! There’s also plenty of culture on offer, from classical music to the huge annual Pasifika Festival.

Best universities in Auckland: QS Best Student Cities ranking: =37th

More about Auckland

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Auckland (ranked 87th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank



 To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Auckland

A city rich with culture

There are more than 200 different cultural groups from around the world living in the city, giving Auckland a rich cultural mix that’s reflected in our restaurants, meeting places, events, music and art.

Outstanding lifestyle

Students can discover an excellent balance between work, study and play in Auckland. As an international student you can work up to 20 hours per week, so why not earn while you study and take advantage of Auckland’s superb shopping, dining and outdoor lifestyle in your free time.

And there's so many things to see and do in Auckland too! Where else can you go sailing, horse riding, hiking, surfing, paddle boarding or mountain biking all within an hour of the city centre? Dive into our calendar of events year round, including cultural festivals, sports events, concerts and theatre.

Careers in Auckland

With 1.6 million people and counting, and home to a third of the country’s population, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and one of its fastest growing too.

As New Zealand’s financial and economic powerhouse, the city needs skilled people to help us grow and there are opportunities in many sectors.

What is the cost of studying in Auckland?

It may surprise you that studying in Auckland could actually cost more than the average tuition in London (US$21,000) at US$22,500.

Numbeo estimates that a single person's living cost without rent will be NZ$1,495.47 (US$1,032). Whereas a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre would set you back US$1,322.73.

Careers in Auckland

Boasting a high quality of life, low cost of living and a number of job opportunities, there are a lot of options available for graduates considering work in New Zealand.

There are currently plenty of job openings in industries such as engineering, IT and medicine - however, there are also opportunities to contribute more general skills.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for a huge number of New Zealand businesses, even the country's big businesses are considered small by international standards. Higher education institutions, IBM and New Zealand Air are all popular graduate employers.

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