International currency experts at World First have published a new index which revealed places at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and Oxford are most sought after by overseas students.
They also trumped their North American counterparts, including McGill University and Harvard University, which fell behind due to the high costs of tuition.
UK universities were strong all-rounders in the index, which analysed academic reputation against the cost of tuition fees, cost of living and ‘liveability’ measures.
"When choosing an overseas destination for university, the quality of the teaching is just one deciding factor," Edward Hardy, market analyst at World First, said.
"Our research shows that some of the top universities, while having a particularly strong reputation, do not necessarily deliver on some of the other important deciding factors.
"That could mean they hit students with crippling course fees, are located in cities with a painfully high cost of living or just offer a poorer quality of life."
Most popular universities among international students
1. University of Cambridge
2. University of Edinburgh
3. University of Oxford
4. Australian National University
5. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
6. McGill University
7. University of Michigan
8. Ecole Polytechnique Paristech
9. Harvard University
10. University of Bristol