US Retains Top Spot Over UK in Educating Most World Leaders

The United States has continued to educate more world leaders than the UK, according to a think tank that tracks where each countrys leaders studied.

But Britain—in second place—still ranks much higher than all other countries in the list.

Since 2017, when the UK educated the most world leaders, the country has continued to fall behind the United States in the rankings, the 2020 Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) “Annual Soft-Power Ranking” report (pdf) states.

“Taking the last four years of results together, we see a clear and consistent pattern: relative to the US, the UKs position has deteriorated each year,” HEPI said.

However, over one-in-four countries have a leader—defined as a head of state or head of government—educated in the UK.

Soft Power

When a country has educated a high number of people who subsequently lead their own countries, this is equated to the educational host country having influence or “soft power” in the leaders home country, HEPI explained.

This can then bring diplomatic and trade benefits to the country where the leader was educated.

Graduates gather at Cambridge University
Graduates gather at Cambridge University
Graduates gather at Cambridge University, England, on Oct. 23, 2010. (Paul Hackett/File Photo/Reuters)

Nick Hillman, director of HEPI and author of the report, said in a statement that the UKs slide in educating world leaders was “not a complete surprise.”

The “UKs restrictive approach to international students since 2010″ has played a part in the UK slipping in the rankings, Hillman said.

“The situation reflects the policy environment in place before this year, when some other countries were keener than the UK to succeed in the competitive task of recruiting international students,” he said.

“Things are now changing,” Hillman said, citing a “commitment to refresh” the International Education Strategy, with the June appointment of University of Exeter former vice-chancellor Sir Steve Smith as International Education Champion and the two-year post-study work visas made available to foreign students from last year.

Britains International Education Strategy announced in March 2019 set out a five-point plan to help build Britains global market share across the education sector and increase the number of international students studying in the UKs higher education system yearly to 600,000 by 2030.

Hillman said, however, that it would have taken time to see the full effect of the measures, even without the challenges of Brexit and the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, and may not be enough to reverse the reRead More – Source