← News Apr 7th 2015

Statistics Show What We Already Knew: British Universities Produce Leaders

According to the data revealed by the British Council in September 2014, one out of ten Heads of State (presidents, monarchs and prime ministers) have obtained their degrees in the United Kingdom. 31% of the world-class leaders who studied abroad have chosen UK universities as an important stage of their development.

What makes the universities of this country so successful in producing leaders and prominent figures in various professions? The students in the UK are being taught of democratic values. They are encouraged to analyze complex situations and come to their own conclusions. The rich history and constant updates of this educational system have resulted with institutions that promote strong research skills, creativity and scientific discovery.

British Leaders

Students who decide to pursue higher education in the UK are joining a community of some of the most ambitious, talented, and knowledgeable scholars in the world. Over 480,000 international students decide to join around 2 million native UK students to follow their goals for higher education.

Prominent Figures with UK Education

Bill Clinton has to be one of the most famous examples of leaders who have studied in the UK. Although his years in Oxford were linked to controversy during Mr Bush’s campaign in 1992, we cannot neglect this important step of his way towards the position of a U.S. president. The former U.S. President studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics in Oxford. Bill Clinton did not complete his degree in Oxford, just like many other American Rhodes scholars who approach education in the UK as an interlude. Nevertheless, he made an impression to his contemporaries and stood out as a notable student.

Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, the current president of Colombia and former Minister of Defense, graduated with a Master of Science in Economic Development in the London School of Economics and Political Science. Anote Tong, the President of Kiribati, also obtained a Masters in Economics from the same school. He is currently known for his efforts to raise global awareness on the threats imposed by climate changes.

One of the most notable figures with UK education is Mahatma Gandhi, who studied in the University College London from 1888 to 1891. Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish scientist who invented the first practical telephone, obtained a degree from the University of London.

Other noteworthy alumni from UK universities include: Elio Di Rupo, prime minister of Belgium (obtained a PhD in chemistry from the University of Leeds); Harald V, King of Norway (studied economics at the University of Oxford); Michael Higgins, President of Ireland (studied in the University of Manchester), and many other figures whose influential presence is changing our world.

An Education for Leadership

A simple comparison with the institutions in the USA paints a clear picture: the U.S. higher educational system produces one world leader out of 500,000 graduates; while UK universities launch one leader out of 50,000 graduates. British universities are not living on past glories; this educational system is constantly evolving without corrupting the traditional values that promote innovation, creativity and research.

In addition to being motivated to think for themselves, the students in UK universities are also encouraged to discover and follow their ideas and passions. The global perspective this educational system conveys is effective in producing prominent figures in business and politics.

The country’s government and educational institutions work hard to attract outstanding students from all around the world and turn them into the next generation of leaders. Educational technologies have introduced more accessible ways of obtaining UK degrees, so now this system is able to reach out to a greater number of international students.

Read all news