Soft Power Index: US Universities Increase Their Lead

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) of the UK has published its latest ranking of where heads of state and government around the world attended university. The annual Soft Power Ranking shows that the UK is gradually losing influence compared to the USA. In 2017 British universities had educated 58 leaders of 49 countries compared to 57 leaders of 53 countries who had studied in the USA.

In 2018 the USA took the lead and this year have move moved further ahead.

The total number of world leaders educated abroad is as follows:

1.   USA 62

2.  UK 57

3.  France 35

4=  Russia 10

5=  Australia 10

6.   Spain 5.

Switzerland, Austrasia, Canada, Germany and Portugal educated four leaders each, and Egypt, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and Belgium three each.

HEPI’s annual report by Nick Hillman argues that international education is a proxy for “soft power” and that it can lead to significant economic and political benefits for the host countries.


Higher Education Policy Institute

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