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

Study in Manila

By Sabrina Collier

Updated June 29, 2022 Updated June 29, 2022

Manila boasts the oldest Chinatown in the world; the historic Manila Cathedral; and Rizal Park. Let's take a closer look at why students are choosing to study in the city.

Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, and has been nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ due to its central location on Pacific trade routes.

Founded in 1571 by Spanish colonialists, the city has a large number of significant cultural and architectural landmarks, including the historic walled city of Intramuros, which was the seat of government during Spanish colonial rule in the 16th century.

Other popular sites include Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world; the historic Manila Cathedral; and Rizal Park, an important site in the country’s history, which features gardens, monuments, artworks and an open-air auditorium that puts on free music, theatre and dance performances.

The city is home to a large number of museums, including the National Museum of Fine Arts, as well as a host of beautiful architecture reflecting a mixture of American, Spanish, Chinese, and Malaysian influences.

This city is considered one of the best shopping destinations in Asia, with major shopping malls and bazaars. International students will also enjoy exploring Manila’s popular hidden bars, modern galleries, lively indie music scene, and a range of delicious street food.

Manila is the Philippines’ educational centre, with a high concentration of universities found in the unofficial ‘University Belt’ district, all within walking distance of each other. This includes the oldest university in both the country and Asia – the University of Santo Tomas, which was founded in 1611. The language of instruction at most universities is English.

Manila ranks within the top 30 cities for affordability in the QS Best Student Cities 2023, with an ideal combination of low tuition fees and living costs.

Are you studying in Manila? Tell us what you think.

Best universities in Manila: QS Best Student Cities ranking: =111th

University of the Philippines (=412th); Ateneo de Manila University (651-700); De La Salle University (801-1000); University of Santo Tomas (801-1000)

More about Manila

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of the Philippines (=412th)



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.

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

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