Germany is ranked as the best country in Europe for international students

by Ray Clancy on March 19, 2018

Germany is the top country in Europe for international students, scoring 80.7 out of a possible 100 in the latest rankings from a study portal providing information on English taught courses.

In Second place is the UK, followed by France, the Netherlands and then Russia at number five. The rest of the top 10 is Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy and Poland, which has entered the top 10 for the first time.


The overall ranking compiled annually by Study.EU consists of three separate measures. Education accounts for 45%, the cost of living and tuition fees 30% and the quality of life and career prospects 25%.

Germany has kept the top spot from last year and the study report says that is due to an unbeatable combination of world class universities and a tuition free public university system, which makes it the first choice for many students.

The UK has also retained its second place spot overall from 2017 and comes top for education and life and career opportunities but ranks 30th for cost as living expenses and tuition fees are high – especially in London. The report warns that Brexit may have adverse effects on the UK’s ranking in future years.

France has moved up one place and it has similar attractions as Germany with foreign students seeking highly reputable universities but affordable fees and living costs.

Last year Poland was already among the most affordable countries for a university education and Polish universities have consistently increased the availability of English-taught study options.

The report says that the number of foreign students in Poland has soared from just 12,000 to over 65,000 in the past 10 years and it comes in at number 20 with a total score of 60.1, just a fraction below Italy’s 60.2 and Belgium’s 60.4.

When it comes to the quality of eduction the UK is some way above other nations with a total score of 86.7, followed by Germany with 74, the Netherlands at 61.3, France 53.4 and Russia 49.6. There is a considerable drop to the rest of the top 10 with Switzerland on 47.2, Ireland 46.8, Sweden 46.6, Italy 43.1 and Spain 38.1.

But the UK is an expensive country for study and does not rate in the top 10 for costs. Other than Poland, Germany is the only country of the overall top 10 to score high as it has a virtually tuition-free public university system and moderate cost of living. France, another country with many free study options that was ranked 10th in 2017, just missed the top 10 this year by a handful of euros.

The average cost in the UK is €23,000 a year and even although this is lower than it was in 2017, it is still the most expensive country for international students. The cheapest is Poland, followed by Serbia, then Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Germany, Lithuania and then Latvia.

But the UK does offer the best option when it comes to life and career opportunities, coming top in this section with a score of 88, followed by Ireland at 87.6, then Iceland at 87.4. Next is Norway, then the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Austria.

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