Top 5 UK cities for students

With regard to the number of international students, the United Kingdom is the third spot among European countries and is ranked sixth in the world. The UK is increasing in popularity to foreign students and despite the Brexit phenomenon, it is still one of the most sought-after global destinations for education. Moreover, seeing that the current population of foreign nationals undergoing university studies in the UK hovers around half a million people, we can safely assert that the high-profile educational prestige of the kingdom is not going anywhere.

In today’s article, we’re taking a look at the cities which foster not only great student populations, but also the best living conditions and opportunities for young people looking to further their education. We’re taking into account a wide array of criteria, ranging from the prestige of universities and the diversity of courses, to leisure, living conditions, safety and all the factors that one could associate with a student’s life. Hence, here’s the five best UK cities for students.

5. Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a city that is blessed with natural beauty and top-notch universities. With a large student population, especially compared to its overall size, Edinburgh is a popular choice thanks to social diversity, rich history, spectacular architecture and friendly residents. Communal apartments are quite common, so accommodations does not cost an arm and a leg, and the public transport system is extremely reliable. 

The Scottish capital is regarded as a city that can provide a complete student experience. It is generally affordable and provides students with an amazing nightlife, a variety of employment opportunities and a wealth of cultural events, including the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

4. Leeds

Moving to northern England, Leeds is a well-known historical location, buzzing with a rich cultural life and a large student population. Known for its music, sports and arts scene, Leeds presents international students with an appealing experience. In 2022, the city received the highest score in the international student view indicator, a measurement that is based on a survey with over 85K responses. Most of these students appreciated the wealth of restaurants, pubs and leisure venues, all comfortably spaced in a small-town atmosphere. 

Leeds Light Night and Leeds Carnival are major attractions that draw both tourists and residents and enjoying everything the city has to offer is affordable for most people. Moreover, the transport system is reliable, but the urban center is also linked well with other places by means of train and coach services. Finally, what keeps Leeds going is the diverse student population, drawn to the north by world-class higher education institutions.

3. Liverpool

North-western England is home to Liverpool, a city with fantastic universities and great people. Liverpool has the second-highest number of museums, art galleries and parks in the country, and fosters a rich music and arts scene, as it is primarily known for being the birthplace of The Beatles. Boasting consistent transport connections and a generally low cost of living, the city does not only appeal to certain types of students, but is actually called home by around 50K international students  who live in and around the city.

Over the past few years, the demand for places at Liverpool university has constantly been increasing among foreign students and that is mainly because of the international prestige of its institutions. Likewise, people who want to further their studies and obtain qualifications can enjoy the mix of traditional British and vibrant modern culture. Currently, international students make up around 20% of the total student population.

2. Manchester

It’s no wonder England’s second-largest city made it here. Manchester is well-known at a global level thanks to its diverse culture and nightlife, as well as for its Victorian architecture. In a nutshell, Manchester has something for everyone, ranging from culture, arts and major sports teams, to historically significant destinations and world-class universities. In recent years, the city has progressed in some ranking, with students reporting higher levels of quality for a multitude of university programmes. 

The good thing about Manchester is that it is large enough for people to feel the big city vibe and enjoy its opportunities, yet small enough not to overwhelm students with faulty or unreliable transportation networks and a skyrocketing cost of living. People appreciate Manchester’s combination between a sense of community and a multicultural landscape. At the moment, the city boasts one of the largest student populations in Europe.

1. London

Sorry, there’s simply no beating The Big Smoke. This top pick might be quite obvious, and despite being the one of the most expensive cities in the UK, London still attracts people from all over the world, plenty of them looking to get a higher education degree. It is reported that the city has the third ranking among the best cities around the world in certain rankings and the wealth of educational institutions in and around Fog City cannot be overstated. 

19 of London’s universities are regarded as being among the best in the world and the sheer fact that over 300 languages are reported to be spoken in the city attests to the impressive diversity that is appealing to international students. London is also ranked second for employer activity, ensuring that people can find a job, especially with a higher education degree. In the UK’s capital, you can do something new every day and live the experience of a lifetime.

With so many great options, it is more than difficult to choose the right place for you. Obtaining a qualification in any of these cities will substantially improve your career prospects and will provide you with a better understanding of what the labour market needs and wants. If you’re unsure where you want to study or what the best course for you might be, allow us to lend a hand. We’ve literally done it thousands of times before. Contact us for more details!