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October 27, 2013updated 29 Jan 2016 5:02pm

Smarter money: how the wealthy have been educated

By Spear's

Ever wondered which universities have the most millionaire alumni and which subjects are studied by the most successful people of our time? A new study from Spear’s and WealthInsight offers the answers.

Extensive data on the top 500 universities and subjects studied by millionaires has been exclusively compiled for Spear’s in association with WealthInsight, the leading wealth consultancy company.

The newly released data shows that UK universities produce the second highest number of millionaires in the entire world after the USA – with 42 UK tertiary establishments in the top 500.

Oxford (6) and Cambridge (9) both make the top ten, with the London School of Economics (27), University of London (45), London Business School (63) and Imperial College (68) also placing within the top 100 universities.

Other UK universities making the top 500 include the London School of Economics (27), University of London (45), London Business School (63), Imperial College (68), Bristol University (102), University College London (114), Edinburgh University (115), Leeds University (148), Southampton University (150), University of Manchester (152), Newcastle University (168), Durham University (173), Birmingham University (215), Nottingham University (217), Liverpool University (238), Glasgow University (267), Lancaster University (296), Sheffield University (299), University of Bradford (460).

Harvard, whose alumni include Barack Obama and John F Kennedy, ranked first, with Harvard Business School (2) and Stanford University (3), also in the US, following closely behind.

As for which subjects produced the most millionaires, engineering came first, followed by an MBA, economics and law – though millionaires produced by these subjects have often left their degree behind in professional life.

Commenting on the findings, Spear’s editor Josh Spero said: ‘Entrepreneurs, who ultimately end up being the wealthiest in the world, are innovators, and the top subjects are those which encourage new and smart thinking, whether technical or financial.

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‘But it’s also no surprise to find that the brightest people, who go to the best universities, often leave their degrees behind and go into high finance to seek their fortune.’

Oliver Williams of WealthInsight adds: ‘You would expect to see a high number of scientific or financial degrees in the top 10, like engineering, commerce and accounting. Numerical degrees are a notable advantage when it comes to amassing a personal fortune.

‘But, interestingly, few of these degrees turn out to be outright vocational; most engineering graduates, for example, are not engineers but entrepreneurs. The same goes for most law and politics graduates, who owe their fortunes not to practicing their professions but climbing the ranks of the financial services sector.’

Computer science is an interesting addition to the list at number nine. According to Williams, ‘This shows the rise of the tech industry. In future years, as more and more tech entrepreneurs make it big, we should expect it to move further up the list.’

Only just over 1 per cent of the world’s millionaires did not study at university or dropped out before they graduated. In this exclusive latter category are a number of the world’s wealthiest billionaires, however, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson – who left school aged sixteen – and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out of Harvard to concentrate on building up his business.

IN FULL – The top 100 global universities for producing millionaires:

1 Harvard University (USA)
2 Harvard Business School (USA)
3 Stanford University (USA)
4 University of California (USA)
5 Columbia University (USA)
6 University of Oxford (UK)
7 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)
8 New York University (USA)
9 University of Cambridge (UK)
10 University of Pennsylvania (USA)
11 Cornell University (USA)
12 University of Michigan (USA)
13 Yale University (USA)
14 University of Chicago (USA)
15 INSEAD (France)
16 Tel Aviv University (Israel)
17 University of Texas (USA)
18 Sciences Po (Institut d’études politiques de Paris) (France)
19 University of Southern California (USA)
20 Ecole Polytechnique (France)
21 Northwestern University (USA)
22 Princeton University (USA)
23 HEC Paris (France)
24 Bocconi University (Italy)
25 University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School (USA)
26 University of Illinois (USA)
27 London School of Economics (UK)
28 University of Virginia (USA)
29 University of Wisconsin (USA)
30 Duke University (USA)
31 University of California, Berkeley (USA)
32 University of Paris (France)
33 University of New South Wales (Australia)
34 California State University (USA)
35 Georgetown University (USA)
36 Paris Dauphine University (France)
37 University of Toronto (Canada)
38 Washington University (USA)
39 Dartmouth College (USA)
40 McGill University (Canada
41 Boston University (USA)
42 Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel)
43 Purdue University (USA)
44 Sydney University (Australia)
45 University of London (UK)
46 Melbourne University (Australia)
47 Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden)
48 Ohio State University (USA)
49 University of Florida (USA)
50 University of Missouri (USA)
51 George Washington University (USA)
52 University of Minnesota (USA)
53 Miami University (USA)
54 Michigan State University (USA)
55 University of British Columbia (Canada)
56 University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
57 University of Colorado (USA)
58 Indiana University, Bloomington (USA)
59 University of Notre Dame (USA)
60 Queen’s University (Canada)
61 Rutgers University (USA)
62 Brown University (USA)
63 London Business School (UK)
64 Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)
65 Ecole Nationale d’Administration (France)
66 Essec Business School Paris (France)
67 Stanford Business School (USA)
68 Imperial College (UK)
69 Carnegie Mellon University (USA)
70 University of North Carolina (USA)
71 Southern Methodist University (USA)
72 Columbia Business School (USA)
73 Monash University (Australia)
74 Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (Israel)
75 Texas A&M University (USA)
76 Vanderbilt University (USA)
77 Boston College (USA)
78 University of Western Ontario (Canada)
79 University of Cape Town (South Africa)
80 Georgia Institute of Technology (USA)
81 Moscow State University (Russia)
82 University of Maryland (USA)
83 University of Houston (USA)
84 University of Kansas (USA)
85 Louisiana State University (USA)
86 Tulane University (USA)
87 University of Queensland (Australia)
88 Delhi University (India)
89 Stockholm University (Sweden)
90 La Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)
91 State University of New York (USA)
92 Tufts University (USA)
93 University of Arizona (USA)
94 Fordham University (USA)
95 University of Western Australia (Australia)
96 National University of Singapore (Singapore)
97 Northeastern University (USA)
98 MIT Sloan School of Management (USA)
99 Brigham Young University (USA)
100 University of Massachusetts (USA)

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