Rankings

Best Colleges in Europe

These schools uniquely and consistently meet the Beyond the States criteria, carefully devised after years of experience in the field of English-taught degrees in Europe for international students. Read about the methodology.

The Best Colleges Methodology

While there are many rankings of international universities, college rankings usually refer to those that are most influential like US News, Times Higher Education, and the ShanghaiRanking (ARWU). We spend a good amount of time cautioning against using this factor as a major criterion. All ranking systems have different strengths, weaknesses, and biases. A school that is on one list may not appear at all on another. Further, not all schools are eligible for the rankings which rely on research and Ph.D. programs heavily. If we ever reference this factor in our materials it’s because we realize it’s such a major part of the American mindset.

While the domestic US News rankings have their issues, their Global Rankings are truly flawed. The most important limitation to note is that, while there are a number of quality indicators US News uses in ranking US schools, their international rankings look exclusively at factors around research (such as global research reputation, number of publications, number of books published, number of citations, percentage of total publications that are among the 10 percent most cited, etc.).

If you need insight on why the college rankings system is truly flawed or a refresher on the increasing number of college rankings scandals in the US, here’s a gloomy summary. We also dive deep into the topic on our podcast, explaining why 'Best Colleges' doesn't mean anything in other rankings, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls of college rankings.

So what do traditional rankings tell you about your educational experience? Nothing. Further, since the rankings are based solely on research related factors, small schools, specialized schools, and schools with an emphasis on applied and practical knowledge will not be eligible for these rankings, even though many of these schools have excellent and reputable programs.

The New Way to Rank Schools

We are sometimes asked if college in Europe is as “good” as in the US. People assume a high degree of educational quality in the states simply because of the standard ratings, which are more-or-less unrelated to the educational experience or outcomes of the students. Honestly, the fact that our college graduates test only as high school grads from the Netherlands and Finland is quite telling…

This is why we’ve created a new kind of Ranking system, authored exclusively by Beyond the States, focusing primarily on school and program factors that really matter to international students seeking a degree in Europe:

  • Availability of English-taught degrees.
  • Affordability for international students.
  • Employability record and economic mobility.
  • Availability of study abroad and internship opportunities .
  • Student life quality for international students.
  • International student supports in place.
  • Strong student reviews.
  • International exposure.

Shaping a top 10 list of anything is risky and difficult, especially when there are, as is true in our case, so many good options. But in this case we are looking for exceptional schools that have many and/or established English-taught programs on offer, which is often indicative of their strength of international student support and resources. Given that affordability is one of the most critical factors for US students exploring college in Europe, our ranked schools have low-cost tuition, even for international students. Because students want to ensure they’ll have a smooth transition to employment after their degree, the schools on our list must impress with their employability record, and in tandem offer many and varied internship and study abroad opportunities. And naturally we factor in the degree to which these locations are livable, dynamic and safe for international students, but they are often much more than that and offer breathtaking history and beauty.

All in all, the schools on our Ranked lists made it there because they seem to come up again and again for us, either when we’re creating Best Fit Lists or as features for our Programs of the Month, or they generally appeal to a large number of our members and international students. And there's a reason for this - they uniquely, consistently meet the criteria above we’ve carefully devised after years of experience in the field of English-taught degrees in Europe.

Listen to the College Insights™ Podcast

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What Transparent Admissions Requirements Really Mean

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
It’s that time of year again… College admissions are on the minds of many students who have attempted to get into their choice schools across the US; it can be a deeply confusing and stressful time for many.
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Master's Degrees in Europe for International Students

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
Her conversation partner this week is Sean Dempsey, a past BTS member and recent graduate of the highly-ranked KU Leuven, in Belgium.
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Will a European Degree Work for Me in the US?

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
Is a degree from Europe valuable enough in the US? Does it allow students to get into grad school and get a good job? Who gives accreditation to universities in the States?
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How to Get a Master's Degree in Europe

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
In today’s episode, Jenn has an interesting discussion with Tiffany, a parent of one of our members, Ethan. She became so interested in the Beyond the States process herself so that she’s amid planning admission for herself and her husband – for a Master degree program in the EU!
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Avoid the Pitfalls of College Rankings

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
How useful are college rankings actually? What do they measure? Can you find great colleges in Europe without relying on rankings?
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The Myth of American Exceptionalism

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
We're going to be talking about the differences in the educational experience, meaning the academic side of things that students have in Europe versus in the US. So I'm always taken aback when people assume that universities in the US are the best globally.

Get access to all the English-taught degrees in Europe, all in one place.

Beyond the States provides access to 11,400+ European bachelor's and master's programs across 870 universities, 550 cities, and 212 areas of study, plus all the resources you need to get there. No sponsorships. No bias.
3200+
English-taught bachelor's programs in our database.
8200+
English-taught master's programs in our database.
550
Beautiful European cities to choose from.
870
Top-tier universities accepting international students.
332,948
Typical savings against a private university in the US.
60,123
Typical savings against in-state tuition in the US.
All inclusive of tuition, living, food, books, health insurance, travel expenses, as well as hidden fees. Compiled with data from students and the official websites from KU Leuven, UNC, and Duke.

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