Deciding where to spend the next few years of your life as a student is an important one. This will be where you will make some of the best memories as you enter the next stage of your education. At university, you will meet new friends, visit new places, evolve new skills, and grow as a person. To make the most out of your course of choice, you should be in a city that will help you flourish.

In 2018, the Scottish capital of Edinburgh was voted as the best city for students to live in across the world. Last year, Edinburgh was also featured in the top 20 cities. These top 20 cities are more likely to draw entrepreneurs, skilled employees, and encourage both new businesses and large organisations to perform well.

Here, we look at the top 7 reasons why Edinburgh is the best city to live in the UK as a student.

Wellbeing and greenery

As we mentioned before, Edinburgh has been ranked as one of the best cities to live in. Landing a spot on this list is multi-factorial – Edinburgh scored well for wellbeing, lifestyle, healthcare, and being the greenest city in the UK as well as having good air quality. Wellbeing and green spaces are important considerations as a new student – you can make a steady transition to an independent adult. When your exams and assignments are around the corner, you can take to these relaxing places to unwind and connect with nature. They also prove to be great hangout spots with your friends when the weather is nice.

A great place to launch your career

According to Knight Frank, Edinburgh has the highest levels of graduate retention in the UK outside of London. This means that more students from the Scottish capital (53 per cent of 43,281 students) stay there to get work after finishing their studies and graduating.

Knight Frank Edinburgh partner Simon Capaldi commented:

“People living and working in Edinburgh benefit from the city’s high standards of living – something which doesn’t come with the same price tag as other UK cities.” He continued: “The city also benefits from a highly educated talent pool, with a graduate population of nearly 50,000 and 47% of final year students who plan to remain in the city.”

Similarly, these opportunities prove great to find work experience alongside your studies if that is what you’re planning on doing to boost your prospects.

Cultural events

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August is the world's largest arts festival – 2019 had 59,600 performances including comedians, and only gets bigger and better each year.

Edinburgh is also hailed for its wide range of festivals, art galleries, cinemas, museums, and theatres, providing plenty of fun all year round.


There is a sense of inclusivity in Edinburgh that has evolved from the likes of the Fringe Festival, welcoming acts and guests from all over the world, championing difference, and giving a platform for people from all walks of life to truly express themselves. Embedding creative cultural inclusion into the city makes a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for students moving to a new place to start their studies.

Great student areas

Edinburgh is a stunning city to call home and has previously been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world – following Paris, Florence, and Rome. Built from distinctive architecture across seven hills, there is something for everyone looking for different lifestyles.

There are several distinct districts of Edinburgh. Students looking for bustling urban life can find this in the city centre, Fountainbridge, or Haymarket. Those looking for quaint village landscapes can settle in Old Town and New Town. There are other popular spots such as Leith, an up-and-coming location on the coast.


One of the reasons Edinburgh was voted one of the best cities to live in is due to the low crime rates and levels of personal safety. While it is important that you still pay attention to your surroundings anywhere you go, according to Edinburgh News, around 90 per cent feel safe.


Most importantly for some, Edinburgh has a fantastic nightlife and restaurant scene. There are plenty of reasonably priced places to eat and drink, as well as a selection of vegetarian and vegan eateries. For the party people, Edinburgh has one of the highest densities of pubs and bars per square mile in the UK.

There is a range of clubs playing different music for those with a varied taste: dance music, 70s soul, punk, rap – you name it.

Deciding on your university location of choice is an important decision so that you have the best few years of your life. Factoring in opportunities, fun things to do, affordability, and bustling nightlife, Edinburgh certainly makes for a smart choice. If you don’t get into your first choice of university or course, or if you have changed your mind, be sure to explore your options, including Edinburgh Clearing courses.

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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

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Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


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If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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