Culture & Society Czech Republic Hungary News Poland Slovakia

What are the best universities in Central Europe?

Prague, Czech Republic – What are the best universities in Central Europe?

The latest international university league table compiled by data and research group QS may provide the answer to that question. In these Alma-Maters gathering the best minds from all over the world,  students conduct advanced scientific research, create innovative startups, or write best custom essays with pearls of human thoughts.

MIT, Stanford, Harvard, CalTech and Oxford top the charts, while Cambridge slips to its lowest-ever place in 6th. Unsurprisngly, Prague’s Charles University is the highest ranked in Central Europe lying in 317th position. Poland’s University of Warsaw and Jagiellonian University in Krakow, respectively ranked 394th and 411th in the world, complete the podium. But what are the others?

Charles University  – Prague, Czech Republic (317th)


Total students – 49,236 (36% UG, 64% PG)

International students – 8,480 (21% UG, 79% PG)

Noteable almuni: Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera, Ivana Trump…

Charles University was founded in the year 1348. During the almost 670 years of its existence it has undergone a number of changes. It is currently a publicly-funded university which comprises a total of seventeen faculties, of which three are theological, six are faculties of the humanities and social sciences, five are medical and three are dedicated to the sciences. Within the University great importance is attached both to the classical scientific disciplines (philosophy, theology, mathematics) and more modern disciplines (ecology, computer science, social work, gender studies), as well as disciplines oriented towards a specific profession (e.g. the medical and health sciences, law, pharmacy, teaching, social work, translation and interpreting, archiving).

University of Warsaw – Warsaw, Poland (394th)


Total students – 40,658 (55% UG, 45% PG)

International students – 3,157 (49% UG, 51% PG)

Noteable almuni: Frédéric Chopin, Bolesław Prus, Jan Karski, David Ben-Gurion…

University of Warsaw (UW) is the leading university in Poland and an important, internationally recognized research centre, featured by prestigious international rankings. Founded in 1816, the University of Warsaw has a long tradition to build on, with its graduates including recognized scholars and writers, also Nobel Prize winners. UW strives to combine it with modernity, of which a good example is a growing offer of interdisciplinary programmes, offered also in English (BA, MA and PhD programmes), or the construction of the Centre of New Technologies to support academic research. Active international cooperation is one of the main objectives of the UW strategy, which makes it actively participate in the Erasmus+ and Erasmus Mundus programmes through around 1500 bilateral agreements. The University of Warsaw consists of 20 faculties and 30 other independent teaching units. The University of Warsaw is also the biggest Polish higher education institution. Currently, there are 18 MA programmes offered fully in English

Jagiellonian University  – Krakow, Poland (411th)


Total students – 37,842 (44% UG, 56% PG)

International students – 2,494 (35% UG, 65% PG)

Noteable almuni: Pope John Paul II, Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrzej Duda…

The Jagiellonian University, as one of Poland’s best institutions of higher education and the second oldest in Central Europe, occupies an important position on the academic world map. The Jagiellonian University is a public higher education institution, a self-governed university, which comprises 15 Faculties, where 4 thousand academic staff conduct research and provide education to almost 50 thousand students, within the framework of more than 87 different fields of study. The eminent researchers and state-of-the-art infrastructure make the Jagiellonian University one of the leading Polish scientific institutions, collaborating with major academic centres from all over the world. The Jagiellonian University is also home to about 150 student societies, where young researchers pursue their academic interests and develop friendships with people who share their passion. The Jagiellonian University attracts more and more international students for whom programmes are run in foreign languages

Univeristy of Szeged – Szeged, Hungary (470th)


Total students – 17,653 (57% UG, 43% PG)

International students – 3,433 (42% UG, 58% PG)

Noteable almuni: Albert Szent-Györgyi, Zoltán Lajos Bay, Attila József…

The University of Szeged (SZTE) is one of the most popular university of Hungary and it is highly ranked internationally. It has been considered as one of the world’s best 500 universities for years and it is known as a green institution. It offers broad range of educational opportunities to national and international students. The University of Szeged is committed to help students make the most of their talents and abilities. Located in South Hungary the University of Szeged is a leading workshop of education, science, research, innovation and it has an outstanding role in the region’s cultural, social life and economic activities.

Czech Technical University – Prague, Czech Republic (531st)


Total students – 19,520 (61% UG, 39% PG)

International students – 3,189 (65% UG, 35% PG)

Noteable almuni: Václav Havel, Ivan Puluj, Vladimir Prelog…

Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) a leading technical research university with a long tradition, located in the picturesque city of Prague and is the oldest technical university in Europe, founded in 1707. The University’s long tradition of cutting edge science and engineering, together with high-quality technical education, ensues from the work of many great personalities, including the famous physicist Christian Doppler, notable chemists such as Vladimir Prelog, and renowned engineers such as F. J. Gerstner and J. Bozek. The University has built up strong bonds with its industrial partners, including important world-scale players, such as Toyota, Skanska, Bosch, Siemens, Honeywell, GE, Rockwell, ABB, McKinsey, DaimlerChrysler, and Skoda-Volkswagen.

Bratislava’s Comenius University is the highest ranked university in Slovakia.

Completing the top 10 best universities in Central Europe, we find Masaryk University, in the Czech Republic, the Warsaw University of Technology, Hungary’s University of Debrecen as well as the Brno University of Technology, in the Czech Republic, and Eötvös Lorànd University, in Hungary. The first Slovak universities in the world ranking, Comenius University and the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava are respectively ranked 12th and 13th in Central Europe.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.