10 Best student cities in the UK for Indian students

By Cassandra Evangeline Benjamin• Last updated: Jan 30, 2024
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A top-notch education and good career prospects are two of the main reasons a student might want to study abroad. However, the benefits don’t end there. Not only do you get to experience new places and cultures, but you get to meet and make new friends. After making the decision to study overseas, the next important question is where. Many international students claim that they chose the city they want to study in even before choosing the course or university.

A few key factors to take into consideration before deciding where you want to go should be affordability, availability of jobs, and diversity.  Taking this into account, we have compiled a list of the 10 best place to live in UK for Indian students. Whether you love the peace and tranquillity of the suburbs or the craze and energy of the metropolitans, we have you covered.

Also Read: 5 best cities in Ireland for international students

10 Best cities in UK for international students: Overview

CityQS Best Student Cities 2023
Newcastle Upon Tyne42

1. London

London is ranked the best city in UK for Indian students (QS) for the second year in a row. Though the expenses can be a bit on the higher end, you will get an experience that is worth every penny.

Also Read: Cheapest cities for international students in the UK

Education - This city is home to over 40 universities offering courses in various subjects. The quality of education in undergraduate, postgraduate and foundational courses is high, with many universities awarded gold for teaching excellence. Brunel University, City University of London and Middlesex University are some great universities to choose from.

Employment Opportunities - London is the financial capital of the world. Many well-known names like Unilever, HDFC and BBC have their headquarters here. With such high exposure, you can take up internships while studying and start your career successfully.

Lifestyle - London is a cultural hub that never sleeps. Whether you are into silent art exhibitions, active rock climbing activities, you will always have something interesting to do in your free time. Plus, you can satisfy the foodie within 24/7 restaurants with delicious cuisines. The transport system is another gem of the city with an underground train system and buses running across all of London. 

QS Rank1
Top UniversitiesBrunel University, Imperial College London, City University of London and Middlesex University
Cost of Living£1,200 - £1,800 per month
Things to doVisit the British Museum, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and West End theaters
Top CompaniesUnilever, HDFC and BBC

Also read: How long do the study abroad programs take?

2. Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, has ranked 16th in the world student city ranking by QS. It also ranks 10th for student view and experience (QS). Its rich history with a hint of modern diversity makes it one of the best cities in UK for international students.

Education - It is home to six global universities including Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Edinburgh.

Employment Opportunities - The common trait of all Edinburgh universities is their integrated relationship between academics and industry experience. You will have the opportunity to work with top companies like Skyscanner and the Royal Bank of Scotland based out of Edinburgh after graduation.

Lifestyle - You can climb the ancient volcano (Arthur's seat) and stroll the Royal Mile to shop, Edinburgh has something for everyone. It is a cosmopolitan city situated on nature’s lap. You can explore the entire city by bus using the Student Ridacard for just £45 per month. You can also take short breaks in between your studies to socialise in the many friendly pubs. 

QS Rank10
Top UniversitiesEdinburgh Napier University, University of Edinburgh
Cost of Living£800 - £1,200 per month
Things to doDiscover Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, and hike up Arthur's Seat for panoramic views
Top CompaniesSkyscanner and the Royal Bank of Scotland

3. Manchester

With over 100,000 international students, Manchester is one of the most populous student cities in the UK. It is in the top 25 best student cities UK (QS University Ranking). Also, it holds the 10th rank in the student view indicator (QS) showing that students have a satisfying experience and a great social life. It is a big city with an inclusive and welcoming multicultural community and one of the best places to live in the UK for Indian students.

Education - Manchester doesn't only offer a beautiful place to live. It also provides a great global education. Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford are some of the top educational institutions here.

Employment Opportunities - Manchester is one of the major economic hubs of the UK. Many international companies such as Kellogg's and Adidas have their UK headquarters in Manchester. This exposure is going to come in handy in your career.

Lifestyle - The city is very well known for its music bands (Oasis, The Smiths) and football clubs (Manchester United, Manchester City Football), but the fun doesn’t end there. Being one of the liveliest cities, you have many clubs to party and restaurants to visit. Also, it doesn’t hurt that it is one of the more affordable cities. 

QS Rank25
Top UniversitiesManchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford
Cost of Living£700 - £1,000 per month
Things to doEnjoy live music and nightlife in the Northern Quarter, Visit Old Trafford
Top CompaniesKellogg's and Adidas

4. Glasgow

The largest port city of Scotland is next on the list of the best place to live in UK for Indian students. It ranks in the top 50 best student cities (QS). Its contemporary culture, educational quality and friendly locals have made it one of Indian students’ favourite cities.

Education - Glasgow knows the art of teaching. After all, the city's universities have been teaching since the 15th century, University of Glasgow, University Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University are some of the city’s pioneers.

Employment Opportunities - Glasgow has its fair share of successful big businesses, but it is also a growing hub for entrepreneurs: Clyde Space, Data Lab and Mind Mate are just a few among the many startups that you can join to kickstart your career, making it one of the UK's best cities for students.

Lifestyle - This is a vibrant Scottish city, and it has been named as the world's friendliest city by Rough Guide. It has also been named as a UNESCO city of music. You can also do many other things such as cheering on in sporting events and enjoying the tranquillity of the local parks.

QS Rank25
Top UniversitiesUniversity of Glasgow, University Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University
Cost of Living£700 - £1,000 per month
Things to doDiscover Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Top CompaniesClyde Space, Data Lab and Mind Mate

5. Coventry

Coventry is a true student city. 6.8% of the population is made up of university students, of which 40% are international students. So as a foreigner, you will have the company of many international students as you explore. It has ranked in the top 50 best cities in UK for international students (QS) and has also won the title, “UK City of Culture”.

Education - Coventry is home to some of the UK's top universities with proud traditions and a modern approach to learning like the University of Warwick and Coventry University.

Employment Opportunities - This is the land of cars. Top companies like Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover manufacture their luxury cars here. If you are not an automobile person, there are always other opportunities in companies like Cognizant Technology Solutions, KM&T, and so much more.

Lifestyle – Coventry satisfies both your outdoorsy side and artsy side. You have sporting games like ice hockey and rugby at the centre of the city. You also have music performances by bands like cold play in the Warwick art centre. You can take your pick. There are also many historical monuments like Coventry Cathedral, St. Mary's Guildhall to soak in and old pubs to let loose. Its quaint charm and large student population makes it one of the top UK cities for Indian students.

QS Rank40
Top UniversitiesUniversity of Warwick and Coventry University
Cost of Living£600 - £900 per month
Things to doVisit Coventry Cathedral, Herbert Art Gallery, and the War Memorial Park
Top CompaniesRolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Cognizant Technology Solutions, KM&T.
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6. Newcastle Upon Tyne

Nestled on the northeast coast of England, Newcastle Upon Tyne, often simply known as Newcastle, is a vibrant and historic city with a rich industrial heritage. It is renowned for its warm and welcoming Geordie spirit, making it the best place to live in UK for Indian students. Newcastle offers a perfect blend of historical landmarks, modern architecture, and scenic beauty, with the iconic River Tyne flowing through the heart of the city.

Education - Newcastle Upon Tyne is home to prestigious universities like Newcastle University and Northumbria University, offering a diverse range of courses across various disciplines.

Employment Opportunities - Newcastle offers promising employment opportunities, particularly in the technology, healthcare, and finance sectors. Companies like Sage Group, a global technology firm, provide excellent career prospects for graduates.

Lifestyle - Newcastle's lively lifestyle and friendly atmosphere create an enjoyable experience for Indian students. The Quayside, with its iconic Millennium Bridge, offers stunning views of the river and a bustling nightlife. Indian students can also savor familiar tastes at renowned Indian restaurants like Dabbawal and Raval.

QS Rank42
Top UniversitiesNewcastle University and Northumbria University
Cost of Living£700 - £900 per month
Things to doExplore Quayside, Visit Millennium Bridge
Top CompaniesSage Group, Ubisoft Reflections, Greggs

7. Birmingham

Birmingham, located in the West Midlands of England, is a dynamic and culturally diverse city that stands as the second-largest city in the UK. It has a rich history of innovation and industry, earning its nickname "the workshop of the world." Today, Birmingham is a vibrant metropolis with a thriving arts scene, excellent shopping facilities, and a diverse range of culinary delights.

Education - Birmingham is a renowned educational hub with universities like the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University attracting students from all over the world.

Employment Opportunities - As a major commercial centre, Birmingham offers excellent employment prospects in industries like automotive, finance, and technology. Jaguar Land Rover, a luxury car manufacturer, and HSBC UK are among the prominent companies providing job opportunities for skilled graduates.

Lifestyle - Indian students in Birmingham can experience a vibrant cultural scene with music festivals, theatres, and art galleries. The city's diverse culinary scene offers a chance to indulge in Indian delights at popular eateries like Lasan and Asha's.

QS Rank45
Top UniversitiesUniversity of Birmingham and Birmingham City University
Cost of Living£650 - £900 per month
Things to doVisit Birmingham Museum, Cadbury World
Top CompaniesJaguar Land Rover, Cadbury, HSBC UK

8. Bristol

Bristol, located in the southwest of England, is a city steeped in maritime history and boasts a thriving cultural and creative scene. It is known for its iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, vibrant street art culture, and a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental initiatives. Bristol offers a relaxed yet dynamic lifestyle, attracting students, artists, and entrepreneurs alike.

Education - Bristol is known for its exceptional academic institutions, including the and the University of the West of England. Indian students can explore various courses, particularly in engineering, environmental sciences, and media studies, and engage in cutting-edge research projects.

Employment Opportunities - Bristol's economy thrives in areas such as aerospace, creative industries, and finance. Companies like Airbus and Aardman Animations offer attractive employment opportunities for skilled graduates.

Lifestyle - Indian students can immerse themselves in Bristol's lively cultural scene, with street art tours and music events like the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. A visit to Clifton Suspension Bridge and a stroll along the Harbourside are must-do activities for experiencing the city's beauty.

QS Rank49
Top UniversitiesUniversity of the West of England
Cost of Living£750 - £1,000 per month
Things to doClifton Suspension Bridge, Harbourside
Top CompaniesAirbus, Aardman Animations, Hargreaves Lansdown

9. Nottingham

Nottingham, situated in the East Midlands, is a city steeped in legend and folklore, famously known for the tales of Robin Hood. Today, it is a thriving urban center with a strong emphasis on education, research, and technology. Nottingham's historic architecture, bustling city life, and green spaces make it one of the best student cities UK.

Education - Nottingham is renowned for its academic excellence, with universities like the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University offering a diverse range of courses. Indian students can pursue programs in business, engineering, and social sciences, among others.

Employment Opportunities - Nottingham's economy boasts strengths in pharmaceuticals, technology, and finance. Graduates can find opportunities at companies like Boots, a leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, and Experian, a global information services company.

Lifestyle - Indian students in Nottingham can explore the legend of Robin Hood through visits to Nottingham Castle and Sherwood Forest. The city's vibrant nightlife and cultural events, such as the Nottingham Goose Fair, offer a fantastic way to unwind and make new friends.

QS Rank50
Top UniversitiesUniversity of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University
Cost of Living£600 - £900 per month
Things to doExplore Nottingham Castle, Sherwood Forest
Top CompaniesBoots, Experian, Capital One

10. Leeds

Situated in West Yorkshire, Leeds is a lively and cosmopolitan city that stands as a major financial and commercial hub in the UK. The city's rich industrial past has transformed it into a modern metropolis with an array of cultural attractions, shopping centers, and a thriving nightlife. Leeds offers a balanced mix of urban excitement and access to stunning natural landscapes.

Education - Leeds is a top choice for Indian students seeking a world-class education. Universities like the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University offer courses in finance, computing, and medicine, allowing students to excel in their chosen fields.

Employment Opportunities - As a major financial and commercial hub, Leeds provides numerous job opportunities for graduates. Companies like ASDA, a leading supermarket chain, and First Direct, a retail bank, offer attractive prospects for young professionals.

Lifestyle - Indian students can enjoy the bustling city life in Leeds, with shopping at Trinity Leeds and exploring the scenic Roundhay Park. The city's cultural events, such as the Leeds International Film Festival, provide a diverse and enriching experience for students.

QS Rank56
Top UniversitiesUniversity of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University
Cost of Living£650 - £950 per month
Things to doShop at Trinity Leeds, Visit Roundhay Park
Top CompaniesASDA, Sky Betting & Gaming, First Direct

Also read: How does the UK education system work?

Looking to study in UK?
Explore top universities and get free expert guidance with Edvoy

Frequently asked questions

Is London good for Indian students?

London is the best place to live in UK for Indian students due to its world-class universities, diverse cultural experiences, and ample job opportunities.

Is the UK safe for Indian students?

Generally, the UK is considered safe for Indian students. The country maintains a robust safety infrastructure, and universities often have support services for international students.

Is Scotland good for Indian students?

Scotland offers a unique study experience with its renowned universities, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Indian students can find a welcoming and inclusive environment in Scotland, making it an attractive choice for higher education.

How many Indian students are in the UK?

The number of Indian students studying in the UK can vary from year to year. At present, there are tens of thousands of Indian students pursuing various courses in the UK, making them one of the largest groups of international students in the country.

Which UK university has the most Indian students?

Institutions like the University of Manchester, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Edinburgh are known for attracting a significant number of Indian students.

Is Manchester safe for students?

Manchester is generally considered a safe city for students as the city has a strong police presence and various safety initiatives in place to ensure the well-being of students.

Which city in the UK has the highest Indian population?

London has the highest Indian population in the UK. London's diverse communities, including a large Indian diaspora, contribute to its vibrant cultural scene and opportunities for Indian students to connect with their heritage.

Which city is best for students in the UK?

The best city for students in the UK can vary based on individual preferences and priorities. Cities like London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow are popular choices among students for their academic offerings, cultural experiences, and lifestyle opportunities. Ready to make the most of your UK student experience? Our remote counselling services can help you choose the perfect city from the top 10 for international students. Start planning your future today.

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