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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 111th

The capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad, is a new entrant in this year’s Best Student Cities ranking in 111th place. Known as the modern face of Pakistan, this city achieves its best score in the ranking for affordability, ranking 19th worldwide. International students can expect to pay an average of US$1,300 for tuition, and there are relatively low costs of living, so students can afford to study at top ranked universities for less.

There are currently four world renowned universities in Islamabad, with Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) the best of the bunch, having been ranked in 375th place worldwide. This is a highly reputable university, offering BS, MS and PhD programs in engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and formal sciences, with over 55 percent of students pursuing postgraduate studies.

There’s plenty to explore in Islamabad in the day, from the stunning Shah Faisal Mosque and the Saudi-Pak Tower to the national assembly building and the city’s botanical gardens.

However, at night the city is a lot quieter, as practicing Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol, and may be faced with strict fines if they do, meaning there aren’t any traditional bars and nightclubs.

Alcohol will still be served in selected places around the city for non-Muslim travelers (for example, in hotels) but is likely to be quite expensive. However, there are several bars dotted around the city, serving non-alcoholic drinks, where you can enjoy dancing, and bowling alleys for when you want to enjoy an evening out with your friends.

Is Islamabad your top student city? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in Islamabad

More about Islamabad

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution



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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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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