Can You Guess Which Country Just Beat the UK as Best European Study Destination?

Mar 17, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

The UK has long reigned supreme as Europe’s international study destination of choice. But a just-released study from Study.EU finds another country atop the list: Germany. Here’s a closer look at the findings.

By the Numbers

Not only did Germany land the number one spot on Study.UE’s 2017 rankings, but it did so by a significant degree. Germany scored a whopping 83 points out of 100 on the attractiveness scale, with second-place finisher the UK falling far short at 69.8 points.

The Netherlands (66.1 points), France (63.8 points) and Sweden (60.6 points) rounded out the top five, while Russia (60 points), Switzerland (59.5 points), Italy (57.4 points), Belgium (57.1 points), and Norway (55.4 points) claimed the sixth through 10th positions.

Other noteworthy finishers which didn’t make their way into the overall top 10? In the area of education, Ireland and Denmark claimed the eighth and 10 spaces with 22.5 and 18.6 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Hungary and Poland tied for first place in terms of cost with 29 points each, trailed by Serbia (29.1), Romania (27.5) and Turkey (26.7) making up the top five.

The UK did come out on top in the area of life and career with 17.5 points, with Iceland (17 points), Ireland (16.7 points) and Austria (16 points) also finishing strong in at third, fourth, and 10th place, respectively.

About the Methodology

The rankings scored countries across three measures: education (50 points), cost (30 points), and life and career (20 points). Germany’s high-quality, affordable and diverse higher education options found it well-positioned among its fellow European countries. It scored first in the area of education, sixth in the area of life and career and eighth in the area of cost, and was also one of only two top 10 overall finishers -- alongside France -- to earn a top 10 spot for cost, as well. 

Concludes the report? “When looking at the results as a whole, one thing becomes evident: Each country has its strengths and its weaknesses. There are no nations that are consistently among the best, or among the worst, for every single input factor. When looking at the three individual areas, more than two thirds of all ranked countries make it into at least one of the top 10 lists.”

The takeaway, according to Study.EU? The rankings are less a mandate and more about informing the initial question: “Where should I be looking to study abroad?”

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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