Lonely Planet Writer

Looking for the best European countries to study in? See which countries got the best grades

Looking to continue your academic studies abroad? This new survey may help as it looks at how attractive European countries are to prospective students.

People relaxing at the Hofgarten with the University of Bonn in the background. Photo by Jorg Greuel

The research carried out by Study.eu ranked more than 30 countries on a variety of factors. The most important was the quality of the education system, which accounted for 45% of the final mark. It also examined affordability, the quality of life, the openness of the job market to foreign students and personal safety.

The study is carried out annually and, once again, Germany took the top spot thanks to top quality schools and a public university system where students just pay administrative fees and get free tuition. Out of the non-English speaking countries, Germany also offers the second-highest number of courses in English outside of the Netherlands.

The UK came top for career options and quality of education. Photo by Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury

The UK ranked top in both the education and life and career rankings but was one of the most expensive places to study with steep cost of living and tuition fees totalling an average of €23,000 per student per year.

The top 10 remained largely unchanged since 2017, except France overtook the Netherlands to come third. Poland was also a new entry, coming in at tenth place due to increasing the number of courses available through English.

The full top ten countries for students are:

1. Germany
2. United Kingdom
3. France
4. Netherlands
5. Russia
6. Switzerland
7. Sweden
8. Belgium
9. Italy
10. Poland

Study.eu ranked the top 15 countries overall online and the top ten for each of the three main criteria. You can view the full research and methodology online.