Which country is top for international university students?

An annual study of 30 European countries – that aims to discover the best country choice for international students studying full-time degrees – has seen Germany placed in the top spot.

Which university is top for international university students?
A new study asking the question, ‘Which European country is the best choice for full-time degree students?’ has placed Germany in top place.The 2018 edition of the Study.EU Country Ranking saw the United Kingdom secure second place, followed by France, The Netherlands and Russia respectively.
International Guide to Education & Schools 2017
The 2018 edition of our popular Relocate Guide to International Education & Schools will be out soon. Packed with advice on education around the world, it is the perfect compendium for relocating families and those supporting them.
The annual report ranks 30 European countries based on their scores in three different categories in order to determine the most attractive study destination for international students. The three categories – Education, Cost and Life and Career, have different weightings:

Education (45 per cent) 

Considers a country’s performance in three established international university rankings (Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE) and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)).

Cost (30 per cent)

Considers a country’s average cost of living plus the average tuition fees both for EU/EEA citizens as well as for non-European students; lower costs mean a higher score.

Life and Career (25 per cent) 

Considers a range of factors with regards to the quality of life and career prospects for international graduates.

The benefits of studying in Germany

Germany’s offer of mostly tuition-free, world-class universities remains hard to beat. A notable result was that cost is almost as important to students as the quality of education. The UK came in second place largely due to the high cost of living and tuition fees, although it was top in both the Education and Life and Career categories.
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“Higher education is not only a source of Britain’s political ‘soft power’, it is also a significant export,” said Bruno Blöss, CEO of Study.EU. “Many regions in the UK benefit from the positive economic impact of having international students.”A new factor – Safety – was included this year in the Life and Career category as it has become an increasing concern for students. The score is based on the global Social Progress Index (SPI), which measures the social well being of a society using different indicators, one of which is safety.“Based on those statistics, most of the countries in our European ranking are safer than, for example, the United States,” said Mr Blöss.

The Brexit effect on UK higher education

The effect of Brexit on the UK higher education system still remains to be seen. While the EU and UK have promised fair treatment for students residing in the UK or the bloc post-Brexit, many educators worry that studying in Britain will become more difficult for European citizens.“Compared to last year, there has been a noticeable increase of programmes offered in English,” observes Mr Blöss, “Universities on the continent are preparing for Brexit – they expect European students to seek alternatives to the UK in the coming years.”

Poland: a rising star?

Poland is one of the countries that has consistently increased courses available in English over the past ten years and has seen a large increase in the number of foreign students – from just 12,000 to over 65,000. Already among last year’s most affordable countries, this year Poland has moved into the top ten.This year’s rankings also saw Russia move into the top five with France and The Netherlands coming in third and fourth place respectively.

The full rankings (all 30 countries) 

RankCountryScore (out of 100)
United Kingdom75.8
10 Poland60.1
11 Austria60.0
12 Ireland58.9
13 Spain58.7
14 Norway58.2
15 Finland56.9
16-20(alpha­be­ti­cal­ly)Czech Republic
Access the full report hereFor related news and features, visit our Education & Schools section. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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