The Most Selective Colleges in England for International Students

England is not just a land of Big Ben, Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, and the Queen. The country is full of cultural diversity and historical roots and has prestige in dozens of colleges; which is why we are going to have a closer look at the Most selective Colleges in England.

Almost half a million students from around the world move to England every year because the country offers comfortable living, quality education, and an English language learning environment.

Even if you are studying abroad for just a summer or semester, enrolling in any of these Most selective Colleges in England will definitely improve your education, change your worldview and give you great respect for centuries of the reign

These colleges offer their students unique and remarkable opportunities. But the big question is: Will you make it as one of the luckiest candidates to be admitted? Let’s check out this writing to explore some of the top and Most selective Colleges in England.

What Makes a College Very Selective?

A selective college is simply a college that doesn’t admit everyone. Selectivity is measured by the percentage of students admitted. In essence, most colleges in England are more selective than others to some extent.

Selective universities are not necessarily better choices for everyone. When it comes to colleges, one size doesn’t fit all. While certain colleges may suit you, they may not always suit others.

Every student is looking for something different from their study experience. The school that is the best choice for you ultimately depends on what you are looking for.

So, don’t just look at how selective a school is! Students should consider many other factors such as location, majors offered, school culture, and more.

More selective colleges tend to have better reputations and they also tend to be ranked higher. However, using college rankings as a criterion for choosing a college is not always the right strategy.

For one thing, a selective school may not offer educational opportunities or the environment that is right for you. This can be especially stressful if you don’t have what it takes to succeed in a highly competitive environment.

Rather than just applying to college because it has a high rank, it is far better to focus on selecting and applying to schools where you are more likely to be successful and happy.

What are the Most Selective Colleges in England?

Here is the list of the most selective colleges in England which offer one of the best and quality education in the world. Securing admission into these colleges can be a difficult feat but very possible. Let’s explore them.

  1. University of Oxford
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. Imperial College London
  4. University College London
  5. London School of Economics
  6. University of Manchester
  7. Queen Mary University of London
  8. The University of Kent at Canterbury
  9. King’s College London – London
  10. Bristol University – Bristol, England

#1. University of Oxford

First on our list is the world-famous University of Oxford which is the top among the most selective colleges in England; the oldest English-speaking university in the world and the second oldest continuously operating university in the world.

It is currently #1 in the UK by both US News and Times Higher Education. Oxford is known for having the lowest acceptance rate among the best UK colleges with less than 20%.

Approximately 24,000 students attend Oxford, including more than 10,000 international students from over 150 countries and regions.

The institution has four academic departments (social sciences, humanities, mathematics, physics and life sciences, and medical sciences), more than 350 graduate schools and 38 universities.

Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. as well as the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest and most prestigious international scholarships.

The college has the oldest university museum or the largest academic library system in Britain; the popular Harry Potter Movie was filmed here.

#2. University of Cambridge

The list of colleges in England would not be complete without including the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is among the most selective colleges in England. The college is the second oldest university in the English-speaking world and the fourth-longest continuously operating university in the world.

It holds the reputation as the second-best university in the world and is in a constant battle with Oxford. It is another very diverse university with more than 20,000 students and 8,000 international students from over 120 countries.

Cambridge has six schools (arts and humanities, life sciences, clinical medicine, technology, humanities and social sciences, and physics), more than 100 libraries, and 31 residential colleges, including three all-women colleges.

The school is one of the most selective universities in the UK with a current acceptance rate of only 34%

#3. Imperial College London

Imperial College London has a place among the most selective colleges in England. The school is ranked 3rd by US News and Times Higher Education. It is known for its high-quality research and innovation. It is the only UK university solely focused on science, medicine, engineering, and economics and one of the best universities in London

Over 16,000 students attend Imperial College London, including approximately 9,000 international students from more than 125 countries.

At Imperial College, students regularly see movie stars and celebs on the red carpet outside Albert Hall, a venue near many of the college’s buildings.

Imperial College London, with an acceptance rate of 14.5 percent, offers a wide variety of British and international students, endless opportunities and has been ranked the 29th most employed School in the World.

Famous alumni such as Sir Alexander Fleming and the astronaut Marc Garneau once walked through the halls.

#4. University College London

Imagine going to the school where Gandhi once studied. One of the most selective colleges in England is University College London and is located right in the centre of the Bloomsbury district of London and is the city’s first university. It is considered one of the best universities in the world.

University College London, officially known as UCL, is a particularly large university in the England with over 31,000 students, including nearly 16,000 international students from 150 countries.

UCL is home to 11 academic departments, including arts and humanities, education, medicine, engineering, and social and historical sciences

UCL is a leading academic institution known as the alma mater of one of the co-discoverers of DNA (casual work). It offers almost anything and everyone to its massive student body.

#5. London School of Economics

The London School of Economics and Political Science (usually LSE only) was founded in 1895 and is one of the most selective colleges in England and the top ten universities in the UK.

Located in the historic Clare Market area of ​​central London, LSE is famous for bringing forth notable alumni from many different backgrounds. It has educated most of the billionaires in the world.

Apparently, LSE graduates make more money than any other university in the UK. The LSE is home to 23 academic departments, 16 research journals, and over 200 student-run societies and clubs.

The university has a proven record of successfully preparing students for careers in banking, finance, consulting, research and education, and politics/government.

The London School of Economics and Political Science is an extremely selective school with an admissions rate of just 22.5% and a total of 12,000 students, most of whom come from a mix of more than 148 countries.

#6. University of Manchester

Manchester doesn’t miss the mark when it comes to academics. The University of Manchester is reputed to be among the most selective colleges in England and is a major public research university and the largest single-site facility in the UK.

A total of 40,000 students with 11,000 international students are enrolled. It is known for its sprawling 270-acre campus.

The school has more than 1,000-degree programs in three faculties: humanities; Biology, medicine and health; and science and technology.

It offers one of the lower costs of living compared to most colleges in England. With lots of vinyl stores, year-round festivals like literature and jazz festivals, and lots of coffee shops, your #aesthetic Instagram feed will thrive.

For the full Manchester effect, students can visit myriad museums, cheap river taxis and lush gardens.

#7. Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University was founded in 1785 and dates back to the establishment of the London Hospital Medical College. It is one of the five best universities in London.

The campus is located in North East London and is built around a palace and many other historic buildings that Queen Victoria herself laid the foundation stone. Hard to beat studying at a legitimate queen university!

Queen Mary University was best known for its medical studies, health sciences, and focus on hospital administration and has over 17,000 students from 162 countries; it’s safe to say that Queen Mary is an international university.

Aside from the high academic offerings, Queen Mary attracts many international students over other London universities. The unique campus is self-contained and gives the students a real sense of community in the big city. Perfect for students looking for a real home abroad!

#8. The University of Kent at Canterbury

Right by the famous Canterbury Cathedral is one of the most prestigious universities in Great Britain. With nearly 20,000 students, the University of Kent at Canterbury (UKC) is one of the best universities in England and home to international research centers.

Just a little over an hour outside of London by train, the rural campus is the best of both worlds for those who want access to the big city but don’t necessarily want to live in the big city.

UKC is known as “The UK’s European University” as it is closely linked to continental European science and has a student body from 158 different countries and 41% from outside the UK.

#9. King’s College London – London

King’s College London is one of the leading research-led public universities in London and the fourth oldest university in England.

There are nine faculties in areas such as arts and humanities, social sciences and public policy, nursing, dentistry and law, and more than 31,000 students, approximately 10,000 of whom are overseas and represent over 150 countries.

King’s is famous for its cutting-edge research and has made a name for itself in the fields of law, international affairs and medicine. It is also a founding member of the Francis Crick Institute, which is focused on biomedical discovery.

#10. Bristol University – Bristol, England

The University of Bristol, in South West England, has 20,000 students, around 5,000 of whom are from abroad. The school was named one of the top 10 best colleges in England by US News and Times Higher Education

Six faculties are available here: art, engineering, health sciences, natural sciences, life sciences, and social and legal sciences. Each faculty is made up of different schools and research centers, such as the Bristol Dental School in the Faculty of Health Sciences and the School of Modern Languages in the Faculty of Art.

Bristol prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and is known for its cutting-edge research in areas such as nanotechnology and human rights.


Now that you have identified the Most selective Colleges in England and their potentials, it is time for you to throw in your application and begin your academic journey in one of the most respected colleges in England, the UK, and even in the world.

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