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Cape Town

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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 80th

The legislative capital and second-largest city in South Africa, Cape Town falls nine places this year to rank 80th -- mainly due to the student view indicator, where Cape Town has dropped ten places since last year.

Study in Cape Town and you’ll be calling one of Africa’s most beautiful, historical and multicultural places home, enjoying a unique and dynamic study abroad experience in the process.

You’ll probably never get tired of seeing the majestic Table Mountain, Cape Town’s most famous landmark, dominating the horizon at 1,085m above sea level.

If you’ve got a taste for adventure, Cape Town is the student city for you: you can trek the heights of Table Mountain, explore wildlife reserves, hit the waves and go surfing, or (if you’re brave enough) even go cage-diving with great white sharks.

A variety of sports are also popular, such as cricket, association football, swimming, and rugby. Cape Town hosted matches during the FIFA World Cup in 2010, enhancing its profile as a major city for sporting events.

The city’s well known for its architectural heritage, with the highest density of ‘Cape Dutch’ style buildings in the world, as well as many striking modern buildings, such as the Cape Town International Convention Centre, earning it the title of World Design Capital in 2014.

Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate with wet winters (from June to August) and dry, warm summers, and the city boasts excellent beaches to enjoy during your spare time (with Clifton Beach highly regarded as one of the best in the world).

Along with all this, the city is home to a well-developed selection of public universities, so it’s unsurprising that so many international students choose to study in Cape Town, with one student telling our student survey that the best thing about studying here was “the wide variety of people that study here and of course being close to the beach” while another said “coming from a country that does not accept the LGBT community, it was great being in Cape Town as I was accepted by many and could be myself”.

Are you lucky enough to study in Cape Town? Tell us what you think.

Internationally ranked universities in Cape Town

More about Cape Town

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Cape Town (ranked joint 198th)



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.


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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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