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20 October, 2020

Best universities in countries with residence permit programmes for investment in 2020

The Ceoworld magazine publication has compiled a rating of the best universities in the world. The list includes 500 educational institutions from 53 countries. Of these, 69 universities are in countries with residence permit programmes in place for investment.

Ranking: the best universities in countries with residence permit programs by investment
Photo: Adobe Stock

Ceoworld magazine is an online magazine for business audiences, with 12.4 million visitors per month. The magazine's experts assessed universities on 7 criteria. Each criterion had its own weight from the total score of 100%.

7 criteria for evaluating higher education institutions

Source: Ceoworld Magazine

Employees of the magazine interviewed 115,000 people from 95 countries in order to calculate the university's authority figure. Respondents selected only 10 universities from the total list that they considered to be the best in the world. They then ranked their top 10 in descending order - in their subjective opinion.

55,000 university graduates, 25,000 recruiting agents and 35,000 executives and top managers of companies with 500 or more employees took part in surveys by profile criteria.

The experts also used information about universities from open sources. For the sake of the purity of the experiment, they did not take into account the data published by the educational institutions themselves.

Based on the global rating from Ceoworld magazine, we have formed 5 ratings for countries in which an investor has the opportunity to obtain a residence permit. The ratings include universities in the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Greece.

Great Britain

3 UK universities were included in the top 10 world ranking of educational institutions. In terms of the quality of higher education in 2020, the UK is ranked 1st in Europe and 2nd in the world after the USA.

Cambridge and Oxford are the oldest universities in the UK and one of the first in the world. Educational institutions constantly compete with each other for the top places in the world rankings of the best universities.

The University of Cambridge comprises 31 colleges, 150 departments, 18 faculties and 6 institutes. According to the University, 90% of its graduates are employed in their fields of study within 6 months of graduation. 121 Nobel laureates graduated from Cambridge.

Oxford University consists of 38 multidisciplinary colleges. Tuition is only fee-paying and the cost depends on the direction in which you study. At various times Oxford has graduated from 72 Nobel laureates and 160 Olympic medallists.

University College London was ranked third in the world's top ten universities. The university includes 10 faculties with over 100 departments, laboratories and research centres. In particular, the college specialises in biological and medical research.

UK university rankings

30King's College LondonКоролевский колледж Лондона
37University of ManchesterМанчестерский университет
55University of BristolБристольский университет
69London School of EconomicsЛондонская школа экономики и политических наук
86University of GlasgowУниверситет Глазго
88University of WarwickУорикский университет
103University of SheffieldШеффилдский университет
111University of SouthamptonСаутгемптонский университет 
115University of BirminghamБирмингемский университет
117University of NottinghamНоттингемский университет
119University of LeedsУниверситет Лидса
139Cardiff UniversityУниверситет Кардиффа
146Queen Mary, University of LondonЛондонский университет королевы Марии
147University of DurhamУниверситет Дарема
155University of ExeterЭксетерский университет
162University of LiverpoolЛиверпульский университет
165University of BathБатский университет
180University of YorkУниверситет Йорка
208University of St AndrewsСент-Эндрюсский университет
210University of NewcastleУниверситет Ньюкасла
215University of AberdeenАбердинский университет
231University of SussexСассекский университет
234University of LancasterЛанкастерский университет
243University of ReadingРедингский университет
247Queen's University BelfastУниверситет Квинс в Белфасте
248Royal Holloway, University of LondonКоролевский колледж Холлоуэй
259Loughborough UniversityУниверситет Лафборо
260University of DundeeУниверситет Данди
272University of LeicesterЛестерский университет
287Royal Agricultural University (RAU)Королевский сельскохозяйственный университет
324University of East AngliaУниверситет Восточной Англии
332University of StrathclydeУниверситет Стратклайда
353SOAS, University of LondonШкола восточных и африканских исследований, Лондонский университет
363University of SurreyУниверситет Суррея
365Birkbeck, University of LondonБиркбек, Лондонский университет
404City, University of LondonЛондонский городской университет
407University of EssexЭссекский университет
464Oxford Brookes UniversityУниверситет Оксфорд Брукс
480Aston UniversityАстонский университет
483University of KentУниверситет Кента
486Heriot-Watt UniversityУниверситет Хериота-Уатта

A UK residence permit can be obtained by investing in a business. The minimum investment amount is £ 2 million. The investor can only include minor children in the application, so the program is not suitable for investors with older student children.

A residence permit and EU citizenship do not allow you to live and study in the UK freely. Applicants from the European Union and Switzerland must obtain a British student visa.

Caribbean citizenship is an alternative option for admission to UK universities. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia, who grant citizenship for investment, are part of the British Commonwealth. Therefore, citizens of these countries may qualify for benefits when applying to certain universities in the Commonwealth, including the UK.

University of Cambridge, UK


Swiss universities traditionally hold high positions in the ratings of educational institutions. The Swiss Higher Technical School Zurich was ranked in the top 10 of the global ranking. In total 8 universities of the country are represented in the rating.

The Swiss Higher Technical School Zurich specialises in engineering, IT, science and mathematics curricula. Albert Einstein is one of the most famous university graduates.

The Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne is also focused on training specialists in the field of engineering, medicine, physics, chemistry and mathematics. Training is conducted in English and French. The university regularly participates in international exchange programs for students and professors.

Swiss university rankings

Position in the global rankingName of the universityName in Russian language
9ETH ZurichШвейцарская высшая техническая школа Цюриха
36Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL)Федеральная политехническая школа Лозанны
85University of ZurichЦюрихский университет
92University of GenevaЖеневский университет
110University of BaselБазельский университет
138University of BeБернский университет
161University of LausanneЛозаннский университет
478University of St.GallenУниверситет Санкт-Галлена

Residence status in Switzerland, such as a residence permit, allows you to enter and study at any university in the country without obtaining a student visa. Today the status can be obtained by purchasing real estate in the country and paying the annual chord tax. The minimum investment amount is 250,000 ₣ per year.

Citizenship of Malta allows you to study at a Swiss university without having to apply for a residence permit. Citizens of other EU and UK countries need to obtain a student visa when applying.

Swiss Graduate School of Technology Zurich


There are 2 Greek universities in the global top 500. These are the largest universities of the country.

Aristotle University in Thessaloniki is also the largest educational institution in the Balkans. Today the university has 12 faculties and 250 research laboratories. Tuition is provided in Greek, English, French and German.

The Kapodistrian National University of Athens is the oldest university in Greece and the Balkan Peninsula. The University consists of 9 institutes in the main fields of philosophy, theology, medicine, economics and political science, natural sciences, agriculture, pedagogy, physical education, law. Among the university graduates there are 2 Nobel laureates in literature.

Rankings of Greek universities

Position in the global ranking Name of the universityName in Russian language
172Aristotle University of ThessalonikiУниверситет Аристотеля в Салониках
442National and Kapodistrian University of AthensАфинский национальный университет имени Каподистрии

A Greek residence permit gives residents the opportunity to study in the country’s universities without any problems. Residence status can be obtained for investments from 250 000 €. Children under 21 can participate in the programme together with the main investor.

With a residence permit from the European Union, the UK and Switzerland, you can stay in Greece for a maximum of 90 days per six months. To study full-time in the country, you need to obtain a Greek student visa.

Kapodistria National University of Athens, Greece


10 higher education institutions in Spain have entered the global ranking. 3 of them are located in the state capital, Madrid, and 4 in Barcelona.

The University of Barcelona is a multidisciplinary institution that provides training in 18 areas. It has a total of 73 Bachelor's programmes, 144 Master's programmes, 48 Doctorate programmes, 654 Postgraduate programmes and 97 further education courses.

Pompeu Fabra University was founded in 1990. The university includes 8 faculties in various fields. There are various scholarships and grants for international students, which can cover 30 to 100% of tuition and living expenses in Spain.

Spanish university rankings

Position in the global ranking Name of the university Name in Russian language
223University of BarcelonaБарселонский университет
250Pompeu Fabra UniversityУниверситет имени Помпеу Фабры
256Autonomous University of BarcelonaБарселонский автономный университет
296University of GranadaГранадский университет
317Autonomous University of MadridМадридский автономный университет
321University of NavarreНаваррский университет
327Polytechnic University of CataloniaПолитехнический университет Каталонии
335Carlos III University of MadridМадридский университет имени Карла III
346Complutense University of MadridМадридский университет Комплутенсе
451University of Santiago de CompostelaУниверситет Сантьяго-де-Компостела

Residents of Spain with residence permit or permanent residence permit status enter the country’s higher education institutions on general terms. Foreigners with resident status do not need to apply for a separate student visa.

Spain provides an opportunity to obtain a residence permit for the country for investment. To do this, you need to buy real estate in the country for an amount from 500 000 €. In addition to the main applicant, children under 26 years old can participate in the program.

Citizens of EU countries have the right to study at any university in these countries, including Spain. They are not limited in time to stay in the country. A residence permit from the European Union, the UK and Switzerland entitles them to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. To study at a university, you must obtain a residence permit.

University of Barcelona, Spain


3 universities in the country were included in the global ranking. Educational institutions are located in Portugal's 2 largest cities - Lisbon and Porto.

The University of Lisbon is the largest university in Portugal. The University has 18 faculties and institutes. The strongest are the social sciences, philology and medicine. The University's 106 research centres and laboratories conduct research in the fields of robotics, nanotechnology, molecular medicine and nuclear physics.

The University of Porto is the second-largest university in Portugal. The university consists of 15 faculties that specialize in architecture, electrical engineering, agriculture and veterinary medicine. The University of Porto is Portugal's leader in the number of publications in scientific journals. It accounts for about 20% of articles from Portuguese universities.

The new University of Lisbon is primarily known for its training in humanities and the arts, natural sciences, engineering and social sciences and management. The teaching staff includes around 1700 professors, most of whom are foreign.

Ranking of universities in Portugal

Position in the global rankingName of the university Name in Russian language
266University of LisbonЛиссабонский университет
383University of PortoУниверситет Порту
465Universidade Nova de LisboaНовый университет Лиссабона

With a residence permit, you can live and study in Portugal for the duration of your resident status. You can apply for a residence permit for an investment from 250 000 €. The conditions of the programme allow the children of the investor under 26 to be included in the application.

With a residence permit or permanent residence in other countries of the European Union, Great Britain and Switzerland, you can come to Portugal for 90 days. During this time, you can visit educational institutions, apply for admission to a university and a student visa.

University of Lisbon, Portugal
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Best universities in countries with residence permit programmes for investment in 2020