QS Staff Writer

Updated May 29, 2023 Updated May 29

QS Best Student Cities ranking: Joint 10th

Long since labeled as an up-and-coming destination, Seoul is certainly making good on this prediction. Continuing to be one of Asia’s strongest representatives, Seoul maintains its rank of 10th in the QS Best Student Cities 2019.

South Korea’s capital scores well in a number of indicators used to compile the ranking, including employer activity where it ranks sixth – reflecting the strong reputation of universities in Seoul among both domestic and international employers.

The city also rises one spot to claim the second-highest score in the rankings indicator (beaten only by London). This score is explained by the impressive fact that no fewer than 18 universities in Seoul are featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, of which the highest-ranked is Seoul National University, at 37th in the world.

Seoul is a 24/7 city in which life is never dull. Whether it’s the sounds of night-market sellers, the atmosphere of the all-night tea houses or the cries of gamers at a ‘PC bang’ (gaming center), Seoul is as alive at 3am as it is at 5pm. The magic of this city is that boredom is impossible, with culture, history and creativity everywhere you turn.

If you need some more restful down-time from your studies, Seoul also offers many opportunities to find your inner Zen, whether at one of many Buddhist temples or in a traditional sauna or spa. Further tranquility can be found less than one hour outside of the city walls, where you can explore South Korea’s mountainous landscape and charming, historic villages.

Students and graduates of the city certainly rate their experience highly – Seoul comes 23rd in the student view indicator, and one respondent to our student survey said: “The diverse culture makes for a great experience, and everything is so convenient,” while another described it as “a city which has the possibilities of a truly metropolitan city without almost any danger”.

To share your own experience of Seoul or another city, take the survey.

Internationally ranked universities in Seoul

Seoul National University (SNU)Korea University; Sungkyunkwan University; Yonsei UniversityHanyang UniversityKyung Hee University; Ewha Womans University; Chung-Ang UniversitySogang University; Hankuk University of Foreign StudiesDongguk University; The Catholic University of KoreaSegong University; Inha UniversityUniversity of Seoul; Konkuk University; Dankook University; Seoul National University of Science and Technology

More about Seoul

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Seoul National University (SNU) (37th 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 December 2015 . It was last updated in May 2023


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