Top Universities in Europe | Top Universities

Top Universities in Europe

By Chloe Lane

Updated June 8, 2021 Updated June 8, 2021

Home to some of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, Europe is a popular study destination for international students. European study destinations are all very different in terms of language, lifestyle and tuition costs, so it’s important to do some research before you go. 

There are 420 European universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2022. This year’s top 20 European universities include entries from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. 

Read on as we take a look at the top 20 European schools...  

Top 20 Universities in Europe 

According to the QS World University Rankings 2022 

Europe Ranking 

World Ranking 

Institution 

Location 

University of Oxford 

United Kingdom 

 

=3 

University of Cambridge 

United Kingdom 

Imperial College London 

United Kingdom 

=4 

=8 

ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology 

Switzerland  

=4 

=8 

UCL 

United Kingdom 

=14 

EPFL 

Switzerland 

16 

The University of Edinburgh 

United Kingdom 

=27 

The University of Manchester 

United Kingdom 

35 

King's College London 

United Kingdom 

10 

44 

Université PSL 

France 

11 

49 

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 

United Kingdom 

12 

=50 

Technical University of Munich 

Germany 

13 

=55 

University of Amsterdam 

Netherlands 

14 

57 

Delft University of Technology 

Netherlands 

15 

59 

Institut Polytechnique de Paris 

France 

16 

61 

The University of Warwick 

United Kingdom 

17 

62 

University of Bristol 

United Kingdom 

18 

63 

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg 

Germany 

19 

64 

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München 

Germany 

=20 

=70 

KU Leuven 

Belgium 

=20 

=70 

University of Zurich 

Switzerland 

United Kingdom  

London

Made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom is widely recognised for its high standard of higher education. The number of accents you’ll encounter across these areas almost matches the number of prestigious universities located amongst them. A total of 90 UK universities feature in this year’s QS World University Rankings. 

Five UK universities are included in the global top 20 of the world rankings, including the highest ranked university in Europe, the University of Oxford, rising three positions to rank second globally. Close behind it is the University of Cambridge, in joint third place, climbing five four spots in the index. 

For international students, undergraduate tuition fees vary, starting at around £10,000 and rising to £35,000 or more for an undergraduate medical degree at the top of the price range. At postgraduate level, international fees for classroom-based programs range from £9,700 up to £32,000 depending on your course.  

Switzerland   

Switzerland

Switzerland is a popular study destination amongst international students due to its modern cities, its high quality of living, prestigious universities and, of course, beautiful landscapes. Switzerland’s cities are surrounded by picturesque mountains and lakes.  

10 Swiss universities are included in this year’s world rankings. Two of these are in the global top 50 and are included in the 20 best schools in Europe: ETH Zurich (joint eighth globally) and EPFL (joint 14th). 

The cost of living in Switzerland in general is high, but international tuition fees are not. International tuition fees at universities currently average between CHF850 and 1,310 (£671 to £1,034) per year for bachelor's degrees. 

France  

France

A run-through of the best European study locations wouldn’t be complete without France. France oozes sophistication, from its historic cities to its legendary food and wine. Its breath-taking scenery ranges from rugged mountains and green forests to golden beaches and clear blue seas. 

There are 32 French universities currently featuring in the QS World University Rankings 2022. The best of these is Université PSL ranking 44th place globally and 10th in Europe. New entry, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, comes in close behind in 59th.  

If you’re looking to study in France, you’ll be pleased to know that tuition is relatively cheap. An undergraduate degree will set you back around €2,770 (approx. £2,380) per year and a master’s degree costs around €3,770 per year (~£3,250).  

Germany   

Germany

Germany is a study destination filled with variety. Trendy and modern Berlin contrasts with the more traditional Munich. The gleaming skyscrapers of Frankfurt couldn't be more different to quaint Heidelberg. If peaceful cities are more your style, you can always retreat to the peaceful and picturesque Middle Rhine region. 

46 German universities feature in the recent world university rankings and a total of three German universities make it into the European top 20. The highest-ranking school in the country is the Technical University of Munich in joint 50th.   

There are no tuition fees in Germany for undergraduate students – with a few exceptions for students from outside the EU. However, if you’re looking to do a master’s, you may have to pay tuition fees of up to €10,000 (~£8,600). For both undergraduates and postgraduates, there is an administration charge of €350 (~£300) per semester. 

Netherlands  

Netherlands

Over in north-eastern Europe is the Netherlands. With vast expanses of lakes, canals and rivers, the Netherlands is a beautiful study destination with a stunning natural landscape.  

In the Netherlands, students have 13 excellent universities to choose from, with two of these placing in the global top 60: the University of Amsterdam (55th) and Delft University of Technology(57th).   

If you’re an EU citizen, annual tuition fees for universities in the Netherlands in 2021-22 start at €2,168 (~£1,860). If you’re from outside the EU, tuition for undergraduate programmes range from €6,000 to €15,000 (~£5,160 to £12,900) and for master’s programmes between €8,000 and €20,000 (~£6,900 to £17,200). 

Belgium       

Belgium

A culturally diverse country, home to delicious Belgian chocolate and the location of the headquarters of many international businesses, Belgium is a hotspot for students. Its capital city, Brussels makes it into the QS Best Student Cities, in 43rd place. 

Belgium is also known for its high standards of higher education. Nine Belgian universities made it into the global rankings, with KU Leuven leading the way in joint 70th.   

Students from the EU will pay a maximum of €835 (~£720) per year, while international students from outside the EU will pay €835-€4,175 (~£720-£3,600) per year and may need to pay additional registration fees. 

This article was originally published in June 2021 .

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Written by

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. She enjoys writing articles about a wide range of topics for a student audience. 

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