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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 29th

Shanghai, China’s largest city by population, is not only the world’s busiest container port; it is also a huge global center for finance, commerce, culture – and also education.

Seven universities in Shanghai feature within the QS World University Tops® 2018, led by Fudan University at 40th in the world and Shanghai Jiao Tong University at 62nd.

Much like other thriving Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Seoul, Shanghai is often described in terms of contrasts – old and new, East and West, well-preserved traditions alongside rapid development – and there’s certainly more than enough to make each day different, however much time you spend here. The city lines the banks of the Yangtze River, where it meets the East China Sea, and has a striking, and growing, skyline of skyscrapers. The Shanghai Tower, completed late in 2013, is the tallest structure of any kind in China and the second tallest building in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Back at street level, you’ll find buzzing marketplaces, ancient temples, cuisines from around the world, theaters and galleries, all interwoven with a rich and interesting history. While living costs are fairly high – Shanghai is now rated the eighth most expensive city in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey – this is offset by relatively reasonable tuition fees.

Shanghai has strong scores in both the rankings and employer activity indicators, showing that the city’s prestigious universities are viewed favorably by graduate employers. It also comes in the top 50 for student view, showing that students are certainly enjoying their time in Shanghai. One survey respondent commented, “It’s an international city, which is great because you get to meet people from all around the world and get to know the different cultures”, while another praised the “abundant cultural life.”

Are you studying in Shanghai? Share your experience.

Internationally ranked universities in Shanghai


More about Shanghai

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution



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.

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Ghazalie T, Tonny M & 4 others saved this
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Written by QS Staff Writer

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