Manila places 103rd in 2025 QS best student cities worldwide

Nation's capital the only Philippine city to secure a rank
Photo by Franz Martin Dizon/ THE FLAME

(Updated as of 11:21 a.m.)

THE CITY of Manila ranked 103rd in the 2025 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Best Student Cities Rankings, which evaluates the best cities to live and study globally.

Manila, home to some of the country’s top universities, including the University of Santo Tomas, rose 12 notches from 115th place in the latest edition of the assessment.

It remains the lone city in the Philippines that obtained a rank in the assessment, scoring 59.4 overall, higher than last year’s 55.7.

Of the ten Southeast Asian cities that were included in the rankings, Manila came in fourth place while the city of Singapore earned the top spot with a global ranking of 15th. It is followed by Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (23rd) and Bangkok in Thailand (59th).

The cities were ranked based on the following categories: university rankings which evaluates the city’s performance in the QS World University Rankings; student mix, which refers to the proportion of students in the city’s population; and desirability which covers the city’s safety, pollution levels and number of students who want to study in the city.

Other categories include employer activity or youth employment in the city; affordability, which looks into a university’s tuition cost and the city’s cost of living; and student view, which is based on a survey of the students’ experience while studying in the city.

The Philippine capital performed best in employer activity (77), followed by affordability (74.6); student view (58.8); student mix (29.1); university rankings (29); and desirability (20.4).

According to QS, a city is eligible for assessment if it has a population of more than 250,000, at least two universities that appeared in the recent QS World University Rankings and is in a country marked as insignificant to medium by global medical and security services company International SOS index.

Aside from UST, another Manila-based educational institution, De La Salle University, landed a spot in the 2025 QS World University Rankings.

READ: UST maintains 4th place but lands on a lower bracket in 2025 QS World Rankings

QS covered a total of 150 cities in this year’s edition, where London in the United Kingdom emerged as the top city for students for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Tokyo in Japan and Seoul in South Korea.

Now in its 12th edition, the QS Best Student Cities Rankings annually presents an overview of the most student-friendly cities around the world. F

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