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

Study in Christchurch

By Julia Gilmore

Updated June 29, 2022 Updated June 29, 2022

Christchurch for students

Ranked 85th in this year’s QS Best Student Cities ranking, Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-highest entry (behind Auckland). The largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch is known as ‘the Garden City’ – a testament to its beautiful, award-winning parks and gardens. Located on the east coast, close to the Southern Alps, it’s also traditionally known as the most English of New Zealand’s cities. There’s no shortage of things to do in Christchurch and the surrounding area, including skiing, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching and more.

The two top universities in Christchurch are both within the top 400 in the world – University of Canterbury, ranked joint 284th in the world (fourth in New Zealand), and satellite town Lincoln's Lincoln University, ranked 368th in the world.

Would Christchurch get your vote? Tell us why.

Best ranked universities in Christchurch - QS Best Student Cities ranking: =80th

World ranking Institution
=284 University of Canterbury
368 Lincoln University

More about Christchurch

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Canterbury (joint 284th)



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 Christchurch?

Green spaces 

Christchurch is known as the 'Garden City', due to its plethora of parks and green spaces. The 75 acre Christchurch Botanic Gardens can be found in the city centre, as can Hagley Park, which is a site for sports like cricket, netball and golf.

Beautiful surrounding areas

The city is the largest in New Zealand's South Island and is surrounded by stunning scenery, including the Southern Alps, a mountainous region popular for snowsports. Film buffs can also spot filming locations from the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the regions surrounding the city.

A city in flux

Christchurch is currently undergoing a period of major transformation as part of a city renewal program. You can expect to see a wide range of creative public art as well as innovative community projects.

Cost of studying in Christchurch

Christchurch isn't the cheapest city to live in, with tuition fees at the higher end of the spectrum for students. However, rent prices are significantly lower in Christchurch than in New Zealand's capital, Auckland. A single person living in Christchurch can expect to spend around £660 per month, excluding rent, according to Numbeo.

Life & culture in Christchurch

Though a number of earthquakes have hit the city in recent years, Christchurch has been experiencing rapid growth, with the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan aiming to ensure it is a safe, enjoyable and accessible city. 

Christchurch is the oldest official city in New Zealand, established by Royal Charter in 1856 (although Maori settlers had been in the area significantly before this). The architecture of the city combines various European and English elements, but Maori culture still plays a big role. 

Careers in Christchurch

There are many important industries in Christchurch, with the key ones being agriculture and manufacturing. It also has a growing tech industry, known not for its size but for its diversity and creativity. Many large firms recruit on campus, such as Deloitte, BDO and PwC, and universities hold careers fairs and networking events for both students and graduates.

This article was originally published in July 2021 . It was last updated in June 2022

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