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

Study in Lima

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Niamh Ollerton

Updated May 21, 2024



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Table of contents

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Lima for students

The capital and largest city of Peru and home to around a third of the country’s population, Lima was founded in 1535 and is now one of South America’s largest and most desirable cities.

There are three world ranking universities located in the city. Notable universities in Lima include the oldest continually operating institution in the Americas, the National University of San Marcos, founded in 1551 during the Spanish colonial rule.

The city received praise for its diversity, affordability and culture in our student survey, with one respondent saying: “Studying in Lima is an awesome experience because of the mixture of cultures and different points of view.”

Would Lima get your vote? Tell us why.

Best universities in Lima - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 112th

World ranking



Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú


Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia


Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos


Universidad Nacional Agraria la Molina


Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas


Universidad de Lima


Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola


Universidad de Piura

More about Lima

Three top universities can be found in Peru’s capital, including Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú – the highest ranked university in the area, placing joint 363rd in the world. Tuition fees in the city are particularly low, costing only US$5,500 per year on average and earning Lima a high score in the affordability indicator. The city also scores well for employer activity due to its sizable financial district, which recruits many of Lima’s graduates. 

Of the 156,700 students in Lima, 2,100 are international students.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (joint 363rd)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student Mix rank


Student Voice rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Lima?

Plenty of employment opportunities

Home to one of Latin America’s largest financial districts and a large industrial district, Lima has plenty of job opportunities for its graduates. It ranks 63rd in the employer activity indicator this year.

The food

Having received the Chef’s Choice Award in 2017, people from all around South America (and the world) come to Lima to taste its delicious cuisine. The city is often referred to as Peru’s culinary capital. 

The culture

Immerse yourself in Lima’s rich culture by visiting attractions such as the Plaza de Armas, the Monastery of San Francisco, Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral of Lima.

Cost of studying in Lima

Lima ranked 59th in the world in the affordability indicator this year, with tuition in the city setting back students an average of US$5,500 per year. 

Lima also has fairly low living costs in comparison to other student cities. Numbeo estimates a single person living in the city will need around US$510 per month in addition to the US$555 per month for rent.

Life and Culture in Lima

Located in an idyllic setting on the west coast overlooking the southern Pacific Ocean, Lima boasts stunning white sand beaches, found at the northern and southern ends of the city and ideal for relaxing when taking a break from your studies.

Lima is a melting pot of cultures, languages and people, strongly influenced by other cultures as well as its interesting colonial and indigenous history.

The city is full of fascinating contrasts between the traditional and modern, with the Historic Centre of Lima listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where you’ll find a mix of colonial architecture, such as the Monastery of San Francisco.

In terms of culture, Lima has a vibrant and dynamic theater scene, from experimental theater to more traditional, classical shows. It’s also home to a range of sports venues - Lima hosted the 2019 Pan American Games, a major international sporting event.

If you’re a foodie, Lima should be top on your list – it’s an ideal place to try out the best Peruvian food on offer, with the city known as ‘the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas’.

Career in Lima

Lima continues to grow every year and has become one of the largest financial centres in Latin America, attracting companies from around the world to its business district. 

Lima’s industrial sector accounts for more than two thirds of all of Peru’s industrial production, manufacturing textiles, food and clothing, generating plenty of jobs for graduates in the area.

For this reason, Lima scores highly in the employer reputation indicator, ranking 63rd worldwide.

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