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QS Best Student Cities ranking: Joint 53rd

A returning entry in the QS Best Student Cities last year, Norway’s capital is up seven places in 2017 and offers two prestigious institutions – the University of Oslo, the largest and oldest in the country, which is ranked among the world’s top 120, and BI Norwegian Business School, highly esteemed in its field worldwide.

The city gets its strongest score in the Desirability category of the index, and is a regular feature in lists of the world’s “most livable” cities. It’s also often ranked among the world’s most expensive places to live. However, for students, high livings costs are to some extent counterbalanced by the fact that public universities in Norway do not charge tuition fees, for either domestic and international students. Fees are charged at private institutions.

In terms of things to do, Oslo has everything you’d expect from a European capital: historic architecture, galleries, museums, parks, and cafés. More unique attractions include the chance to go skiing just outside the city, boat trips on the Oslo fjord, open air public swimming pools, and the city center’s large free ice-skating rink.

All of these activities, and the general friendly, multicultural student scene on offer, have earned Oslo a strong score in the new Student View category of the index. When asked to name the best things about Oslo, one survey respondent said: “Great standard of living, very good public spaces, and great atmosphere in the university area.” Another praised “The people, the socially liberal attitude of the city and the public transport system.” 

Are you studying in Oslo? Share your experience.

Internationally ranked universities in Oslo


More about Oslo

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Oslo (joint 113th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student Experience rank



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

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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