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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 8th

Maintaining its position in eighth place this year in the QS Best Student Cities ranking, Zurich is renowned for its prosperity, orderliness and low taxes, which may make it sound more like a place for millionaires than international students. However, look a little closer and you’ll see it certainly deserves its place among the world’s top student cities.

Currently ranked sixth in the world, after rising four places in the table,  ETH Zurich is the highest-ranked university in continental Europe – and the best performing university from outside the US and UK. The University of Zurich is also ranked within the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings® 2020 in 76th place.

An international hub, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and among the wealthiest in Europe – which brings both pros and cons for international students. On the one hand, its affluence means Zurich is clean, safe and immaculately maintained, frequently ranking among the world’s most liveable cities. But on the other hand, living expenses can be eye-wateringly high.

That said, while rent and socializing may cost a packet, international tuition fees in Switzerland are relatively low, so the overall costs of studying in Zurich are likely to be considerably lower compared to cities in the UK, US or Australia, for example.

And it’s certainly tough to beat Zurich when it comes to scenery. Situated on the banks of picturesque Lake Zurich and with the stunning Swiss Alps within day-trip reach, this city would suit those who want to combine the attractions of city life with close proximity to some of Europe’s most beautiful natural landscapes.

Zurich enjoys an improved score in the desirability indicator this year, beaten by only three other cities. Zurich certainly gained plenty of acclaim in our student survey, with one student pointing out its “natural beauty and high standard of living” while another praised its “perfect combination of city life and nature”.

Would Zurich get your vote? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in Zurich

More about Zurich

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

ETH Zurich (6th in the world)



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.

Related categories:

Lorraine N, albert S & 18 others saved this
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Written by QS Staff Writer

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Dear Sir/Madam,
I will complete my graduation in Forensic Science Hons. in 2017 Sharp. Without wasting time I want to continue my masters in Environmental Sciences from ETH Zurich. I have no enough money for such an expensive city but a degree with first class. my question to u is that
* Is TOEFL/GRE necessary for ETH Zurich
* When do I need to apply for ETH zurich keeping my 2017 graduation completion in mind.
* I am an Indain National therefore wanted to know if there are Scholarship/Fellowship for me
*Does cost of living include in Fellowships
* when do i need to apply for Zurich Visa if i get selected from concerned university...
I hope you will reply me by the latest !
Sibtain Kadri

Study in Switzerland : I'm very much interested in doing my masters from Zurich. I need procedure to how to apply in Universities in Zurich and whats the scope of Computer Science Masters in Zurich, Switzerland. I'll be very obliged if you help me out with this query of mine. Have a nive day.

Hi Hrishikesh! Have you looked at our guide to studying in Switzerland? You may also be interested in our ranking of the world's top universities for computer science - you can sort the results by country.

i am so much interested to go for higher education to study in zurich and i am on of the orphanage students but i don't have money if you kind to me i well be happy

Hi there, Germany is a good choice for students looking for inexpensive tuition fees. For more guidance of the overall costs for study in Germany go here - https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/student-finance/how-much-does-it-cost-study-germany - or, for practical information about visas and lifestyle go here - https://www.topuniversities.com/where-to-study/europe/germany/guide - and finally, for a selection of scholarships you may be eligible for, go here - https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/scholarship-advice/scholarships-students-looking-study-abroad . Good luck! Laura

I am so much interested to go for higher education to study in ZURICH.