Which London Universities Educate the Most Global Business Elite?

London Universities

Who educates the global business elite in the UK? According to the latest Times Higher Education Alma Mater Index 2017, three schools in London made it into the top thirty: the University of Oxford (14), University of Cambridge (20) and Imperial College London (29).

What Is the Alma Mater Index?

The goal of the Index is to give a picture of which institutions are best at producing senior business leaders worldwide. It did this by using a simple methodology, which “ranks universities according to how many qualifications they have awarded to chief executives of members of Fortune magazine’s Fortune Global 500.”

The Rankings

The school that has educated the greatest number of chief executives is Harvard University. Harvard “has conferred 29 qualifications (including undergraduates and master’s degrees, as well as doctorates and other postgraduate qualifications) on 26 chief executives of companies with a combined 2015 revenue of more than $1.4 trillion,” according to the article.

As for the UK, the highest ranked university represented was the University of Oxford, which ranked 14th overall. In total, the University had conferred seven degrees on six alumni running companies worth approximately $280 billion. The University of Cambridge was the second UK school to make the list with seven CEOs educated worth $282 billion. Imperial College London was the last UK school to make the list in the top thirty, placing 29th, having educated four CEOs worth a total of $135 billion.

What Do the Rankings Mean?

Overall, U.S. schools conferred the most degrees on Fortune 500 chief executives (231), followed by China (116), France (68), Germany (46), the UK (40) and Japan (35). But do these figures really mean anything and do they truly reflect the strength of each country’s high education system? The truth is that the rankings might be more closely related to the number of Fortune 500 companies located in each nation. “In fact, examining the top 15 nations in the Alma Mater Index, the statistical correlation between the number of Fortune Global 500 chief executives their institutions have educated and number of Fortune Global 500 companies based there is 0.95, where 1 is a perfect correlation.”

Basically, CEOs are more likely to have a degree from the same country where their company is based. However, that’s not always the case. Andrew Owens, co-founder and chief executive of Greenergy, believes that if a multinational company operating in 100 countries needs a new CEO, they’re going to do a global search. However, if the company instead decides to appoint from within, “internal candidates, who began their careers at more junior levels, are particularly likely to have been educated in the company’s home country.”

To see the full Index and read more about the survey, visit the Times Higher Education website.


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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