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Top 5 UK Cities with Highest Number of International Students

Studying in the United Kingdom (UK) is often the dream of every student aspiring to pursue education abroad. The appeal is rooted in top-notch institutions, high-quality education, a hospitable environment, various courses, high teaching standards, and more. The United Kingdom has a long history of accepting international students to its universities. The country welcomes over 500,000 international students every year, allowing you to meet and learn with brilliant minds. 

Almost 20% of all students are international in the United Kingdom (UK), so you’ll have an easier time integrating, connecting with like-minded individuals, and learning about a new culture when you arrive. To guide you in choosing the right city, we explore the UK’s top five major university cities, shedding light on noteworthy institutions worth considering.

The following are the top 5 cities in the United Kingdom (UK) for international students:

  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Manchester
  • Glasgow
  • Liverpool


London is the most preferred city among individuals to pursue their higher education. The city is located at the River Thames and is recognized as the most beautiful capital in the world. The city is famous but diverse and fraught with abundant academic and employment prospects. Over 20% of the 125,000 international students studying in the UK are based in London.

Along with its fantastic lifestyle, London is home to many renowned universities. Following are the best institutions to study at: Imperial College London, University College London (UCL), The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Royal Holloway University of London, Goldsmiths, London South Bank University, London Metropolitan University, and the London School of Business and Finance.


Edinburgh, the picturesque and hilly capital of Scotland, is famous for more than just its medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town—it’s also celebrated for its distinguished educational institutions. The city is recognized as second best for its educational history and renowned because of its beautiful architecture, artistic scenes, live music, and thriving comics culture. Edinburgh is home to international students, boasting over 70,000 individuals pursuing higher education.  

The University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University are two of Edinburgh’s most renowned institutions for international students.


Located in northwest England, Manchester is a major city enriched with industrial heritage. The city enjoys widespread recognition because of its reputed educational institutions and iconic football teams. There is barely anyone who isn’t aware of its two major football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City. Furthermore, the city has been a prolific source of artistic talent, introducing world-renowned names such as Oasis, The Smiths, and The Stone Roses, contributing to the city’s cultural prominence. This attracts a significant number of international students. The city is home to almost 41,000 international students in 20 universities, among which well-known universities are The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. 


Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city on the River Clyde in the West Central Lowlands. It’s the third largest and one of the most captivating cities in the United Kingdom (UK). Famous for its dynamic cultural scene of music and nightlife in the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, and National Theatre, the city also has abundant green areas. Notably, it secures the position of hosting the second-largest international student population in Scotland. The city is remarkably esteemed for its trio of distinguished educational institutions: Glasgow Caledonian University, Strathclyde University, and the University of Glasgow.


Liverpool is a port city situated in northwest England. One of the major cities famous for its football clubs, represented by Liverpool FC and Everton FC. Beyond its football history, Liverpool possesses a rich cultural history, particularly in music. The city holds top-ranked educational institutions with edge-cutting research techniques that offer international students a unique blend of academic and extracurricular activities. The city hosts premier educational institutions like Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, which is why it is home to 50,000 international students.


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