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

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Study in Berlin

By Staff Writer

Updated July 28, 2021 Updated July 28, 2021

Berlin for students

Germany has been growing steadily in popularity as a study abroad destination, and in this year's QS Best Student Cities ranking, its capital Berlin, earns its place in the top 10.

Berlin’s growing appeal as an international study destination is also partly due to having a large number of courses in English, particularly at postgraduate level.

While the German capital is not an academic hub on the scale of cities like London, Paris or Boston, three universities in Berlin feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2022. The highest-ranked of these is Freie Universität Berlin, ranking 127th in the world. 

Is Berlin your ideal student city? Tell us why.

Best universities in Berlin - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 5th

World ranking Institution
127th Freie Universität Berlin
=128th Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
159th Technische Universität Berlin

More about Berlin

Three of Berlin's universities feature in the most recent QS World Universities, including Freie Universität Berlin in 127th globally. This year, Berlin earns its highest score in the student view indicator, ranking within the global top five.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Freie Universität Berlin (127th in the world)



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 Berlin?

Student diversity

20 percent of the students in Berlin come from outside Germany, meaning it's easy to make friends from all around the world.


All undergraduate fees are free at public universities in Germany for both domestic and international students. 

High quality of living

Berlin is known for its high quality of living, with affordable housing and travel and excellent healthcare.

Good job prospects 

Graduates enjoy great job prospects as international firms want to hire graduates from German universities. 

Cost of studying in Berlin

Berlin ranks 16th for affordability this year. This is mostly because all undergraduate degrees (and some postgraduate programs) are free at public universities in Germany, even for international students.

Numbeo estimates that a single person living in Berlin would need around £685 per month for general living expenses, plus an additional £800 per month for rent. 

Life and culture in Berlin 

Having flourished into one of the world’s coolest urban hubs – a major centre of design, fashion, music and art to rival even New York or London – Berlin offers both unbeatable culture and a hot financial market, making it as perfect for history buffs and art aficionados as it is for budding financiers.

Berlin has moved up four places this year in the student view indicator to fourth place. With a high quality of living, affordable costs, a liberal atmosphere and a happening party and music scene, the German capital has a huge amount to offer international students of all backgrounds and interests.

Careers in Berlin 

Students from countries outside the EU and EEA who hold a residence permit can extend it for another 18 months after graduating while they search for a job in Germany. 

Job prospects are good for graduates in Berlin. The most in demand roles are health care practitioners, engineers and IT specialists. For this reason, Berlin ranks 15th for employer activity.

This article was originally published in November 2014 . It was last updated in July 2021

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