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Top 12 Destinations for Postgraduate Study in 2022

As coronavirus restrictions have loosened across the globe, 2021 has seen many people explore study opportunities overseas. The chance to immerse yourself in a new culture, a diverse selection of world-ranked universities and exciting career prospects are amongst the many reasons to consider studying abroad in 2022!

With so many locations to choose from, we thought we’d take a look at the most popular locations for postgraduate students, using the latest data from UNESCO.

If you’re considering international study in 2022, here are some good places to start your search…

#1 United States of America

You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking where in the USA to complete your Masters...

Hosting almost 1 million international students, the USA comfortably occupies its position as the most popular study abroad destination worldwide. American institutions consistently dominate the league tables, with eight out of ten top universities located in the USA, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2022.

With over 1,700 universities offering postgraduate degrees across 50 states, the diversity of opportunity for international students in the USA is unparalleled.

Browse American Masters degrees or PhD programmes.

#2 Australia

Australia is a rising star in the world of international study, attracting increasing numbers of overseas students year on year. According to the latest data, over 500,000 international students took advantage of its world-ranked universities and famously spectacular scenery!

The Australian government will be loosening travel restrictions for student visa holders from mid-December, so now is the perfect time to start exploring postgraduate opportunities Down Under.

Browse Australian Masters degrees or PhD programmes.

#3 The United Kingdom

The UK has long been a popular choice for overseas study, hosting just under 490,000 international students. The UK has the second highest number of globally ranked universities and is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the world.

Despite leaving the European Union, the UK remains keen to encourage international study and offers a generous range of funding opportunities for postgraduate students, including the prestigious Chevening Scholarship and the British Council’s GREAT scholarships . International students wishing to seek work in the UK after completing their degree can now take advantage of the new Graduate Route Visa.

Browse Masters degrees and PhD programmes in the UK.

#4 Germany

Germany has a strong and enduring academic tradition – Potsdam-born philosopher William Van Humboldt can even be credited with the inventing the educational model on which the modern research university is based. It also has the highest number of top-200 universities in the Times Higher Education World Rankings of any non-English speaking country.

Browse Masters degrees and PhD programmes in Germany.

#5 Russia

From competitively low tuition fees and living costs to the innumerable natural and cultural attractions across its 17 million square kilometres, there’s no shortage of reasons to consider overseas study in Russia. With over 15,000 international scholarships offered by the government each year, you might even be able to earn your postgraduate qualification for free!

Browse Masters degrees in Russia.

#6 Canada

As an international student in Canada, you’ll be part of a student body representing over 200 nationalities. Canada’s famously high standard of living, diverse and tolerant society and selection of globally-respected universities contribute to its worldwide appeal.

Browse Masters degrees and PhD programmes in Canada.

#7 France

Postgraduate degrees in France are amongst the most affordable in Europe. EU/EEA students pay just €243 per year for Masters degrees, and €380 for PhD programmes. Given that it is one of most widely spoken languages in the world, the opportunity to brush on your French speaking skills also won’t go amiss!

Browse French Masters degrees and PhD programmes.

#8 China

With a population of almost 1.5 billion, 56 ethnic groups and over 2,500 universities, China offers plenty for international students to explore. Graduating in a country with the world’s second largest economy will also open up countless employment opportunities, both in China and elsewhere.

Browse Masters degrees and PhD programmes in China.

#9 United Arab Emirates

An increasingly popular choice for overseas study, the number of international students in the UAE has surged from 77,000 to almost 216,000 in just one year. The UAE has one of the world’s youngest but fastest developing higher education sectors and is home to a range of modern universities conducting cutting-edge research.

Browse Masters degrees and PhD programmes in the UAE.

#10 Japan

Hosting almost 203,000 international students, Japan is renowned for its strong academic tradition and competitive innovation. It also boasts 27 Nobel laureates, the highest number in Asia!

Browse Masters degrees and PhD programmes in Japan.

#11 Turkey

A full participant in the Bologna process, Turkey offers internationally recognised qualifications at competitively low prices – you can earn a Masters degree for as little as €120 per year. An epicentre of cultural diversity, its largest city, Istanbul, is the most populous in Europe and one of five in the world to straddle two separate continents.

Browse Masters degrees and PhD programmes in Turkey.

#12 South Korea

South Korean higher education has a strong international outlook, with around 30% of university courses delivered in English, and identical fees for domestic and overseas students. It’s no wonder that it boasts an international student tally of almost 100,000!

Browse PhD programmes in South Korea.


Top 12 Study Abroad Destinations
Country Number of international higher education students
United States of America 996,853
Australia 509,160
United Kingdom 489,019
Germany 333,233
Russia 282,922
Canada 279,168
France 246,378
China 225,100
United Arab Emirates 215,975
Japan 202,907
Turkey 154,505
South Korea 98,857
The information in this table is based on UNESCO's Global Flow of Tertiary-Level Students data.




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Last Updated: 09 December 2021