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

Study in Brussels

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Niamh Ollerton

Updated Jun 30, 2022



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The capital of Belgium and headquarters of the European Union, Brussels is known for its international character – and this is reflected in the high proportion of international students at its universities (13,000 to be precise).

Known for its international diversity and central role in European politics, Brussels is also famed for its delicious Belgian chocolate, pubs, french fries, comic strip art, cafés and attractive architecture.

Two Brussels-based universities feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2023Universite libre de Bruxelles (=210th); Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) (251st) – both ranked within the world’s top 300.

Universite libre de Bruxelles is a French-speaking university and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a Dutch and English-speaking university.

Brussels is ranked at 40th for desirability in this year's ranking.

When asked to name the best thing about studying in Brussels, one student commented: “The diversity of people and the many internship and job opportunities.

Best universities in Brussels: QS Best Student Cities ranking: =53rd

More about Brussels

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Universite libre de Bruxelles (=210th)



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 Brussels

Home to large international organisations

Brussels is home to both the EU and NATO, meaning there's a large student population working as interns with a wealth of work experience opportunities available at these organisations or organisations related to the EU and NATO using Brussels as their base.

If you think you want your career to have a base in one of these organisations, then Belgium is a great place to take some time to study a postgraduate course and should provide you with plenty of opportunities for networking.

Gastronomic treats

The heavenly Belgian waffle is one such food item that shouldn't be missed when you're in Brussels.

But did you Belgium is actually the globally recognised capital of chocolate and beer (there are around 200 breweries in a country with a bit more than 10 million people). And let's not forget that Belgium gave the world ‘French’ (the irony) fries. Think of all the local food products you have to look forward to trying.

Cost of studying in Brussels

Brussels landed a spot in the top 70 most affordable student cities in the world at 66th this year. 

Numbeo estimates that a single person's monthly costs in Brussels without rent will be US$959.73, but a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will be US$1,000.73.

It's worth noting that travel is also very reasonable when travelling around the city by train.

Careers in Brussels

Brussels is home to the headquarters of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), both big employers of international workers.

Other large Belgian employers include:

  • Ageas (insurance)
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev (brewing)
  • Bekaert (steel wires)
  • Banque Nationale de Belgique (banking)
  • Colruyt Group (food retail)
  • D'Ieteren (vehicle distribution)
  • Elia (energy)
  • KBC Bank (banking)
  • Proximus (telecommunications)
  • Solvay (chemicals)
  • UCB (biopharmaceuticals)
  • Umicore (materials technology)

You can search for jobs in Belgium at:

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