There are three universities in the immediate vicinity of the city centre, but four counting Edge Hill, which has campuses on the outskirts of Liverpool. This means there are almost 50,000 students studying in the city centre alone. The University of Liverpool generally scores higher academically than Liverpool John Moores, but this institution claims to provide more employer-centred learning, as does Liverpool Hope University.

Liverpool scores highly on the 2008 International Student Barometer for accommodation and for its cost of living, which has been estimated at £800 during study time in addition to fees. While entry onto a course at the University of Liverpool is through the UK admissions bureau Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), John Moores University provides a foundation course for international students who need to improve their English language and academic skills before applying for a place.

John Moores provides English language support throughout the duration of courses for international students as well as international student welfare and family liaison staff, while Liverpool Hope holds special welcome events in addition to general fairs for new starters.