More global service leaders studied in US than any other country: UK think tank report

More global service leaders have studied in the United States of America (US) than any other country in the world so far this year, according to the annual Soft-Power Index published by independent UK think tank Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).

The report released this week shows the number of current world leaders who were educated in a country other than their own. In 2022, the United States again dominated the list with 67 world leaders having studied at American institutions. From 57 in 2017, this number has increased significantly by 10, the largest jump among all other countries.

“The US has acquired such a significant lead over all other countries that it seems impossible to overcome in the short to medium term,” the report states.

The report shows that the UK has retained the second position, held since 2018, as 55 global service leaders chose the country for their education. According to the HEPI report, the gap between the US and the UK has been steadily widening in recent years. Current UK-educated leaders include Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Japanese Emperor Naruhito.

HEPI director Nick Hillman highlighted the “clear” tendency for the United States to outshine other countries in terms of higher education, which has only gotten better over the years.

“It is often rightly said that two points are not enough to confirm a trend. But now we have six consecutive years of data and the trend is very, very clear. Compared to the 2017 baseline year, the U.S.’s relative position has improved every year, including 2022, thanks to its world-class university system,” Hillman said in the report.

France again retained its third position in 2022, with 31 serving world leaders choosing the country as their destination for education, the report shows. Russia ranks fourth on the list with 10 leaders studying at various institutes here.

Australia and Switzerland follow closely behind having trained 7 current world leaders, Canada and Germany with 6 each, and Italy and South Africa have each had 5 current world leaders study.

HEPI defines world leaders as heads of state and government, including monarchs, presidents and prime ministers. The think tank said it analyzed 356 office holders from around the world for the report.

The report included countries that are members or observers of the United Nations, currently 195, HEPI said.

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