Switzerland named 1 of the 5 best European countries for higher education

Switzerland named 1 of the 5 best European countries for higher education

The latest edition of a ranking by The Campus Advisor has seen Switzerland named one of the five best countries in Europe for higher education. Swiss universities were given high praise for their quality teaching and diverse student body, but lost out when it came to the cost of living.

15 Best Countries in Europe for Higher Education 2024

To create the 15 Best Countries in Europe for Higher Education list, The Campus Advisor used reviews, ratings and surveys submitted by students to its own website, to find out which countries are held in the highest regard. Writing in the report, the organisation said it hoped the list would give future students “the information they need to make informed decisions about their educational journey, ensuring they find the perfect country for their academic pursuits and personal growth.”

Each nation was rated out of five based on a list of “key factors”. These included the quality of education offered by the country’s universities, the cost of living as a student, prospects for careers, the diversity of the student body, quality of social life and the art and cultural experiences on offer. This was then supplemented with quotes and reviews from select students.

United Kingdom rated best in Europe for higher education

For 2024, the United Kingdom was rated as the best European country for higher education with an overall score of 4,51 out of five. The country was given high praise for the quality of education on offer. This is perhaps not a surprise, given that the UK is the only country other than the US with universities in the top 10 of the latest World University Rankings by Times Higher Education (THE).

While faltering in the cost of living rating, the United Kingdom was rated highly in all other categories. One student quoted in the report praised the UK for the diversity and quality of courses offered, as well as good support services.

Germany found itself in second place in 2024, with the federal republic rated first for its “social life.” The country was also praised for its comparatively low tuition fees, cultural escapes and captivating cities. Thanks to its high scores for arts and culture and graduate careers, Ireland rounded out the podium.

Swiss universities rated highly by The Campus Advisor

Coming in fourth with an overall score of 4,37 out of five was Switzerland. The alpine nation was rated best in Europe for student diversity, with one student telling The Campus Advisor that the country “is a fantastic place for students seeking diversity in their educational experience. With a mix of students from various cultural backgrounds, studying here offers a unique opportunity to interact with people from all over the world."

With ETH Zurich often rated as one of the best universities in Europe, and one of the few non-UK and US institutions to occasionally crack the top 10 of the THE ranking, it’s little shock that the alpine nation also scored highly for educational quality. The career prospects of Swiss graduates were also highly rated, alongside social life and arts and culture.

“Switzerland's stunning landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for both study and relaxation. The natural beauty of Switzerland never fails to inspire,” one student wrote.

Cost of living in Switzerland remains a sticking point

However, as with most rankings that include Switzerland, we have to mention the elephant in the room: the country was rated as having the highest student cost of living of any country in the top 15. While tuition fees in Switzerland remain low compared to countries like the UK, student housing has become increasingly expensive and harder to come by.

With Swiss cities recently rated as the most expensive places to live in Europe, Switzerland scored just 2,98 out of five in the category.

10 best countries in Europe for higher education

In all, here are the 10 best countries in Europe for higher education, according to The Campus Advisor (with scores out of five):

  1. United Kingdom (4,51)
  2. Germany (4,41)
  3. Ireland (4,40)
  4. Switzerland (4,37)
  5. Denmark (4,34)
  6. The Netherlands (4,32)
  7. France (4,31)
  8. Czechia (4,25)
  9. Austria (4,22)
  10. Sweden (4,18)

For more information, and to see how each country was rated specifically, check out the official website.

Thumb image credit: Judith Linine /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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