According to a study by the British Council, about one in seven nations around the world has a ruler who schooled in a UK higher education institute.
This statistic of “soft power” reveals that 27 nations have a UK-educated ruler.
The list includes Tony Abbott the Australian prime minister, Bashar al –Assad the Syrian president, and Hassan Rouhani the president of Iran.
But another study has cautioned of reducing numbers of students from overseas. The study from the British Council which advances UK culture and education reveals the massive and varied impact of the UK’s higher education system.
The report reveals that among over 190 countries, 27 of them have a ruler, either political or formal head of state who schooled for at least a portion of their higher education in the UK.
This includes crowned rulers like the King of Norway who schooled in University of Oxford and King Tupou of Tonga who schooled at the University of East Anglia.
Najib Razak the prime minister of Malaysia schooled at Nottingham University, Alexander Stubb Finland’s prime minister schooled at the London School of Economics and the president of Iran Hassan Rouhani studied at Glasgow Caledonian.
President of Syria Bashar al-Assad schooled at London’s Western Eye Hospital.
Rebecca Hughes the head of education at the British Council said that this formative bond with so many of the leaders of the world was a “long-term advantage” for the UK.
She however warned that bringing the next group of world rulers was getting tougher as higher education had become international and technology makes new types of training even more obtainable.
Apart from the cultural and political impact, the money from school fees from students from abroad is now turning out to be a very important financial support.
In the view of Universities UK, overseas students are valued at about $7billion every year to the UK.
A study from Universities UK cautioned of problems in enrolling students from abroad, especially from India.
From 2011 to 2013, enrollment of Indian students into UK higher institutions fell by half. And there are still symptoms that this decline would still continue.
On the other hand, there is an increase in demand from Chinese and Malaysian students. The university sector has been canvassing for immigration targets to exclude students from abroad.
There are fears from universities of a view that the immigration system intends to reduce the number of students coming into the UK from abroad.
The Institute of Directors on Wednesday supported requests to remove foreign students from immigration limits, stating that it frustrated employers from enrolling talented employees and was “anti-business”.