International student table 2018: top 200 universities

Explore the universities with the highest percentage of international students based on data collected by Times Higher Education

May 16 2018
international students

The higher education world is getting smaller as more and more students are choosing to study abroad. Students are looking to universities to provide an international experience, the opportunity to study alongside people from all over the world, and to give them a truly global community in which to study. 

As part of the data collected for the World University Rankings,Times Higher Education asks all institutions to provide figures on their proportion of international students. Using these data, THE has compiled a list of the top 200 universities with the most international students. 

The American University of Sharjah is in first place, with nearly 84 per cent international students, while LSE takes second place.

Countries represented in the top 20 include the UAE, UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Australia. 

Sixteen universities from London feature in the top 200, making it one of the most represented cities in the ranking. In fact, the UK as a whole was the most represented country with 72 universities in the top 200, compared with 27 from the US and 22 in Australia. 

The top five universities with the highest percentage of international students 2018

Scroll down to see the top 200

1. American University of Sharjah, UAE

The American University of Sharjah is a relatively small university with just over 5,000 students, and 84 per cent of this student body is made up of international students. Some 99 countries are represented on campus, and some of the main home countries of these students are the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and India.

According to Linda C. Angell, director of international exchange programmes at AUS, the institution welcomes 80 to 100 study abroad students every year and “these students consistently report they have had an excellent experience here”.

Dr Angell believes that the university has a high proportion of international students because of its central location, making international travel easy, and its proximity to cosmopolitan Dubai and culturally rich Sharjah. 

English is the main teaching language and the university offers 26 majors and 45 minors at undergraduate level, and 13 master’s degree programmes.

The university is part of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities, an organisation that delivers higher education based on the American liberal arts model outside the US.

International perspective: an American in the UAE

2. LSE, London

LSE is a world-renowned hub for international students, with students from more than 140 countries. It has international partnerships with Columbia University in New York, Sciences Po in Paris, Peking University in Beijing, the National University of Singapore and the University of Cape Town, to name a few.

LSE has ranked in the top 30 universities in the world for the past five years and is highly regarded globally as a social science university specialising in a wide range of disciplines, including economics, politics, sociology, law and anthropology.

Alumni from LSE come from almost 200 countries, and include 16 Nobel prizewinners and 37 past or present world leaders.

Canadian student Matt Campbell said that he has made friends with students from dozens of countries. “Having such an international peer group at LSE has been a great advantage (not to mention great fun). Perhaps what unites us most is the great British tradition of getting together with colleagues at the end of the week for pints at the pub,” he said.

LSE students speak to THE about studying in London

3. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is the oldest university in the top five, having been established in 1784.

The university provides a comprehensive education within medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy. The university is relatively small, one with just over 2,000 enrolled students, and about 62 per cent of these are classed as international students. At the Dublin campus, the students come from approximately 70 nations.

The college provides undergraduate courses as well as postgraduate education and professional training. The university also has a well-renowned research institute.

The university strengthens its international ties by encouraging students to take part in volunteer activities in developing countries and by developing a strong presence in Malaysia, Bahrain and Dubai, with plans to grow even further internationally.

In 1886, the university was the first to have a female medical graduate. 

International perspective: a Canadian in Ireland

4. University of Sharjah, UAE

The University of Sharjah was established in 1997 as a private, national, co-educational university situated in University City in the UAE. 

Since its inception, it has expanded to include 14 colleges and 86 diverse academic programmes. 

The university is rooted in Islamic and Arabic tradition but also aims to “learn from an​ international perspective”. Courses at the university are linked through agreements with universities in Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK and the US, and the university accepts many visiting international students. 

The university is a new entry into this table, as this is the first time that it has been included in the World University Rankings. 

5. University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg aims to provide a multilingual learning experience, with many of the degree programmes delivered in French and either English or German. Master’s degrees are taught entirely in English. This reflects the high percentage of international students, with 57 per cent from elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

A semester abroad is compulsory for all undergraduate students and many exchange opportunities are also available for master’s and PhD students. Joint supervision of theses may also be possible in collaboration with a university abroad.

Heidi Flinkman, a Finnish student studying at the University of Luxembourg, initially went to the institution as an exchange student, but enjoyed it so much that she decided to stay and complete her degree there. “As the university is highly international, there are students and staff from many countries and linguistic backgrounds, so it is easy to feel at home,” she said. 

My experience as an international student at the University of Luxembourg


Resources for international students

Cheapest UK universities for international students: tuition fees survey
Survival guide for international students: your first 168 hours in the United States
A guide to university rankings for international students
Top 10 scenic locations to study abroad
Five reasons why you should study in China
How to write a US college admissions essay
Applying through Ucas as an international student
A guide to UK tuition fees and student visas
A guide for international students choosing a university in Australia


The top 200 universities for international students 2018

International Student rank 2018 International Student rank 2017 University Country/Region Percentage of international students
1 1 American University of Sharjah United Arab Emirates 83.8%
2 3 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom 70.5%
3 4 Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Ireland 63.5%
4 NR University of Sharjah United Arab Emirates 60.8%
5 5 University of Luxembourg Luxembourg 57.4%
6 6 Soas, University of London United Kingdom 56.0%
7 8 Imperial College London United Kingdom 55.4%
8 7 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne  Switzerland 54.8%
9 9 City, University of London United Kingdom 53.0%
10 11 Maastricht University (UM) Netherlands 49.9%
11 10 UCL United Kingdom 48.8%
12 14 Murdoch University Australia 47.8%
13 12 University of St Andrews United Kingdom 47.5%
14 13 University of Westminster United Kingdom 45.7%
15 =15 Middlesex University United Kingdom 45.6%
16 21 Coventry University United Kingdom 45.1%
17 NR Sciences Po France 44.9%
18 20 Queen Mary University of London United Kingdom 44.8%
19 =31 Carnegie Mellon University United States 44.6%
20 =15 University of Essex United Kingdom 42.8%
21 18 Qatar University Qatar 42.4%
22 25 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 41.9%
23 23 Auckland University of Technology New Zealand 41.8%
24 17 École des Ponts ParisTech France 41.5%
25 61 University of South Australia Australia 41.4%
26 19 Heriot-Watt University United Kingdom 41.0%
27 =28 King's  College London United Kingdom 40.9%
28 24 Brunel University London United Kingdom 40.8%
29 =28 Royal Holloway, University of London United Kingdom 40.3%
30 36 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom 40.2%
31 37 University of Melbourne Australia 39.9%
32 22 University of Geneva Switzerland 39.8%
33 42 Bond University Australia 39.2%
34 26 University of Innsbruck Austria 39.0%
=35 =28 Birkbeck, University of London United Kingdom 38.9%
=35 =31 University of Warwick United Kingdom 38.9%
37 40 University of Manchester United Kingdom 38.4%
38 47 University of Oxford United Kingdom 38.3%
39 48 University of Sussex United Kingdom 37.9%
40 =44 Lancaster University United Kingdom 37.7%
41 35 ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland 37.6%
42 =31 University of Surrey United Kingdom 37.5%
42 41 University of Leicester United Kingdom 37.5%
44 =38 Curtin University Australia 37.0%
=45 34 Goldsmiths, University of London United Kingdom 36.8%
=45 46 University of Technology, Sydney Australia 36.8%
47 =64 University of Aberdeen United Kingdom 36.3%
48 =64 University of Glasgow United Kingdom 35.9%
=49 74 École Polytechnique France 35.8%
=49 60 University of Sheffield United Kingdom 35.8%
51 43 Kingston University United Kingdom 35.6%
52 49 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 35.5%
53 80 City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 35.4%
54 =54 University of Liverpool United Kingdom 35.3%
55 =50 Stevens Institute of Technology United States 35.2%
=56 =44 Australian National University Australia 35.1%
=56 78 Florida Institute of Technology United States 35.1%
=56 71 Université Libre de Bruxelles Belgium 35.1%
59 56 University of Greenwich United Kingdom 34.9%
60 =50 University of St Gallen Switzerland 34.8%
61 =54 London South Bank University United Kingdom 34.6%
62 63 Alfaisal University Saudi Arabia 34.1%
63 57 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 33.9%
=64 160 Lincoln  University New Zealand 33.7%
=64 =64 University of New South Wales Australia 33.7%
=66 62 University of Macau Macau 33.4%
=66 75 University of Southampton United Kingdom 33.4%
=68 69 CentraleSupélec France 32.9%
=68 59 University of East London United Kingdom 32.9%
70 81 University of Reading United Kingdom 32.5%
=71 76 University of Bath United Kingdom 32.4%
=71 73 Edinburgh Napier University United Kingdom 32.4%
73 =131 Charles Darwin University Australia 32.2%
74 =172 Khalifa University of Science and Technology United Arab Emirates 32.0%
75 =64 Queen's University Belfast United Kingdom 31.9%
=76 58 University of Bedfordshire United Kingdom 31.8%
=76 =86 University of Sydney Australia 31.8%
=78 77 Columbia University United States 31.7%
=78 53 RUDN University Russian Federation 31.7%
80 91 Northeastern  University United States 31.6%
81 27 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong 31.5%
82 72 Aston University United Kingdom 31.2%
=83 85 University of Kent United Kingdom 30.8%
=83 70 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Singapore 30.8%
85 110 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 30.7%
86 =128 Semmelweis University Hungary 30.6%
87 =64 National University of Singapore Singapore 30.5%
88 94 University of East Anglia United Kingdom 30.4%
88 79 National Institute of Applied Sciences Lyon (INSA Lyon) France 30.4%
90 96 University of Nottingham United Kingdom 30.1%
91 82 University of Bradford United Kingdom 30.0%
=92 =86 Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong 29.6%
=92 =89 Newcastle University United Kingdom 29.6%
94 83 Simon Fraser University Canada 29.5%
=95 84 University of Auckland New Zealand 29.2%
=95 =161 Wageningen University & Research Netherlands 29.2%
=97 =89 Massey University New Zealand 29.1%
=97 93 University of Rochester United States 29.1%
=99 95 Central Queensland University Australia 29.0%
=99 NR Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy Romania 29.0%
101 112 Durham University United Kingdom 28.8%
102 88 University of British Columbia Canada 28.6%
=103 =177 Chung-Ang University South Korea 28.3%
=103 =101 Oxford Brookes University United Kingdom 28.3%
=105 =98 University of Hertfordshire United Kingdom 28.2%
=105 =153 University of Roehampton United Kingdom 28.2%
=107 92 University of Canberra Australia 28.1%
=107 NR Medical University of Vienna Austria 28.1%
=107 =121 Monash University Australia 28.1%
110 103 University of Exeter United Kingdom 28.0%
111 =106 Vienna University of Technology Austria 27.9%
112 =101 Rice University United States 27.8%
113 =104 Concordia University Canada 27.7%
=114 =121 University of Birmingham United Kingdom 27.4%
=114 =133 Trinity College Dublin Ireland 27.4%
=116 109 California Institute of Technology United States 27.3%
=116 =133 Delft University of Technology Netherlands 27.3%
=116 =167 University of Strathclyde United Kingdom 27.3%
=116 =128 V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University Ukraine 27.3%
120 =136 University of Bristol United Kingdom 27.2%
121 =136 University of Portsmouth United Kingdom 27.1%
122 116 Georgia Institute of Technology United States 27.0%
123 117 University of Waikato New Zealand 26.8%
=124 151 University of Basel Switzerland 26.7%
=124 97 University of Twente Netherlands 26.7%
=124 111 University of York United Kingdom 26.7%
=127 =133 Cardiff University United Kingdom 26.5%
=127 127 La Trobe University Australia 26.5%
=129 =131 New York University United States 26.4%
=129 =98 United Arab Emirates University United Arab Emirates 26.4%
=129 =121 University College Dublin Ireland 26.4%
=129 =113 University of Huddersfield United Kingdom 26.4%
133 = 121 Clark University United States 26.3%
=134 =172 University of Leeds United Kingdom 26.2%
=134 152 National Taiwan Normal University Taiwan 26.2%
=134 =128 University Of Queensland Australia 26.2%
137 =104 University of Adelaide Australia 26.1%
138 120 University of Vienna Austria 26.0%
139 =136 Harvard University United States 25.9%
=140 140 Dublin Institute of Technology Ireland 25.8%
=140 141 McGill University Canada 25.8%
142 =177 University of Salford United Kingdom 25.6%
143 143 University of Alberta Canada 25.5%
144 108 University of Western Australia Australia 25.4%
=145 NR Paris Sciences & Lettres - PSL University France 25.3%
=145 119 RMIT University Australia 25.3%
=147 =148 University of Chicago United States 25.2%
=147 =121 Anglia Ruskin University United Kingdom 25.2%
=149 =153 De Montfort University United Kingdom 25.1%
=149 118 Jinan University China 25.1%
151 139 University of Texas at Dallas United States 25.0%
=152 =106 Swinburne University of Technology Australia 24.9%
=152 =113 University of Tulsa United States 24.9%
=152 = 180 Bangor University United Kingdom 24.9%
=152 NR Boston University United States 24.9%
156 147 University of Lausanne Switzerland 24.7%
=157 =163 Brandeis University United States 24.6%
=157 =121 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong 24.6%
=159 =144 University of Dundee United Kingdom 24.4%
=159 146 Stony Brook University United States 24.4%
=159 NR Technical University of Denmark Denmark 24.4%
162 NR National University of Science and Technology (MISiS) Russian Federation 24.3%
=163 =144 Johns Hopkins University United States 24.1%
=163 =148 University of Wollongong Australia 24.1%
165 NR Cornell University United States 24.0%
166 194 Tomsk Polytechnic University Russian Federation 23.8%
=167 156 Princeton University United States 23.7%
=167 =161 Robert Gordon University United Kingdom 23.7%
169 =182 Swansea University United Kingdom 23.6%
=170 NR University of Technology of Compiègne France 23.5%
=170 NR Edith Cowan University Australia 23.5%
172 165 Purdue University United States 23.4%
173 =158 University of Liège Belgium 23.1%
174 =167 York University Canada 22.9%
=175 =172 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States 22.8%
=175 =163 University of Southern California United States 22.8%
=177 NR University of Côte d'Azur France 22.7%
=177 =175 Technical University of Munich Germany 22.7%
179 NR Medical University of Graz Austria 22.6%
=180 =182 Copenhagen Business School Denmark 22.5%
=180 =175 Keele University United Kingdom 22.5%
=180 166 University of Neuchâtel Switzerland 22.5%
=183 =191 University of Brighton United Kingdom 22.4%
=183 =167 Stanford University United States 22.4%
185 =158 École Centrale de Lyon France 22.3%
=186 155 American University of Beirut  Lebanon 22.1%
=186 =148 Macquarie University Australia 22.1%
188 142 University of Montreal Canada 22.0%
189 NR Tomsk State University Russian Federation 21.9%
=190 =182 Norwegian University of Life Sciences Norway 21.8%
=190 NR University of Tasmania Australia 21.8%
=192 NR Duke University United States 21.7%
=192 170 Loughborough University United Kingdom 21.7%
194 =98 Universiti Teknologi Petronas Malaysia 21.6%
=195 NR University of Alcalá Spain 21.5%
=195 =191 Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation 21.5%
197 =188 Yale University United States 21.4%
198 199 University of Stirling United Kingdom 21.3%
199 =188 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia 21.1%
200 NR University of Canterbury New Zealand 21.0%

Read more: Most international universities in the world 2018: top 200


Editor's note: Eastern Mediterranean University has been omitted from this table, due to changes in their classifications of international students. During previous rankings data collections students from Turkey were classified as domestic, but during the recent round of data collection students from Turkey have now been classified as international. 

 

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