Sabrina Collier

Updated May 30, 2023 Updated May 30

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 99th

Nanjing (“southern capital”) is the capital of China’s Jiangsu Province and a major center of culture, education, research, transport and history, recognized as one of the country’s four great ancient capitals. This historical legacy is reflected in sites such as the 600-year old city walls, temples, museums and mausoleums.

Considered one of China’s most livable and beautiful cities, Nanjing has a population of 11.7 million in its total metropolitan area – small by Chinese standards! It therefore offers a more relaxed atmosphere than giant cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, as well as lower living costs, and has a fine landscape of scenic lakes, lush green parks and small mountains.

There’s a lot to see, from attractive imperial-era landmarks such as the Linggu Temple and the Chaotian Palace, to more recent works such as the 450-metre (1,480 ft) tall Zifeng Tower or the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Nanjing also has a vibrant, well-established nightlife (unsurprisingly including plenty of karaoke joints), and hosts events such as the International Plum Blossom Festival.

The educational center of southern China for more than 1,700 years, the city has a large range of prestigious higher education institutions and research institutes and a large student population. Although the majority of courses are taught in Mandarin, some universities do offer English-taught programs.

Internationally ranked universities in Nanjing

Nanjing UniversitySoutheast University

More about Nanjing

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution

Nanjing University (joint 120th 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.

This article was originally published in February 2017 . It was last updated in May 2023

Written by

The former Assistant Editor of, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 


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