Top 5 Colleges That Produced the Most World Leaders


It’s always important to know the educational backgrounds of political candidates.

Some of the older United States presidents didn’t even have a college degree, but they proved their mettle in war, reading law, and politics.

And now with the upcoming election day, we need to be more discerning about the kind of students Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were.

For example, did you know that Hillary Clinton was a high-achiever? Or that Donald Trump went into military academy when he was just 13 years old?

Some say that where you study makes a huge impact on your future.

If you were a politician, where in the world should you study?

Well, here’s a list of the top 5 colleges chosen by world leaders to study in. Notice that many of them study economics, politics, and government.

If you have a passion for these areas of study or maybe even run for president, these are the colleges worth choosing.


University of Oxford


Oxford university has produced 9 world leader alumni

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Type of College: public research university

World-Leader Alumni: (9)

  • Harald V, King of Norway
  • Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia – Civil Law
  • Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan – Foreign Service and International Relations
  • Epeli Nailatikau, President of Fiji – Foreign Service
  • Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary – Political Science
  • Abdullah II, King of Jordan – Middle Eastern Affairs (one-year Special Course)
  • Philippe, King of Belgium – Political Science
  • Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu – Diplomatic Studies (Certificate Course)
  • Abdul Halim of Kedah, King of Malaysia – Social Science and Public Administration


The University of Oxford boasts the most number of graduates who are world leaders. Oxford is a prestigious school, known all over the world. It is the oldest college in the English-speaking world, and was founded in the early 11th century.

It is a very selective university, and has one of the best quality academic programs in the world.

It is made up of 38 colleges, with each one of them having their own governing body

The university buildings are scattered across Oxford, which also hosts the world’s oldest university museum, the world’s largest university press, and the largest library system in Great Britain.

It is identified as a public university, but is generally autonomous and acts like a private university.

Oxford has taught several influential people in different fields. It is ranked No. 5 in the 2016 CWUR, just above Columbia University.


University of Manchester


8 world leader alumni have come from University of Manchester

Location: Manchester, England, UK

Type of College: public research university

World-Leader Alumni: (8)

  • Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland – Economics and Political Science
  • Haider Jawad Kadhim Al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq – Electrical Engineering (PhD)
  • Michael D. Higgins, President of the Republic of Ireland – Urban Sociology
  • Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique – Senior Management (MA)
  • Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of Palestine – Linguistics (MA)
  • Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Government Studies (PhD)
  • Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, President of Somaliland – Economics
  • Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda – Finance (MBA)


The University of Manchester was formed recently in 2004 by the union of two older universities: the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester.

It ranked No. 29 in the world, according to the QS world university rankings.

Like Oxford, the University of Manchester is a city university. With almost 40,000 students, it’s the second largest in the United Kingdom.

The university’s leadership programs and student volunteer organizations are a huge advantage for anyone wanting to gain skills as a leader or public administrator.


Harvard University


Harvard had 8 world leaders come from their college

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Type of College: private research university

World-Leader Alumni: (8)

  • Barack Obama, President of the USA – Law
  • Sebastian Pinera Echenique, President of Chile – Economics (MA)
  • Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, President of Colombia – Public Administration (MA)
  • Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa, President of Mexico – Public Administration (MA)
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia – Public Administration (MA)
  • Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia – Public Administration (MA)
  • Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore – Public Administration (MA)
  • Ma Ying-jeou, President of the Republic of China – Law (SDJ)


Yes, Harvard University is on this list again. There’s a reason it’s been ranked in the No. 1 spot in world university rankings.

As an Ivy League school and the oldest college in the United States of America, Harvard, like Oxford, has taught a great many students who went on to become leaders around the world.

It has the largest library system in the world and is the alma mater of several billionaires. Harvard is one of the top colleges when it comes to law, according to the US News and World Report.

It is also one of the best when it comes to studies in tax, health care, international law, and many more.

Best Colleges has even ranked it No. 2 for students who aspire to be politicians, and it’s No. 1 when it comes to Political Science.


University of Bristol


University of Bristol only had 3 world leader alumni

Location: Bristol, England, UK

Type of College: public research university

World-Leader Alumni: (3)

  • Letsie III, King of Lesotho – English Legal Studies
  • Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta – Management Research (PhD)
  • Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco – Economics & Management (exchange program)


The University of Bristol was chartered in 1909, making it the youngest academic institution in the QS world university rankings, competing against older colleges from the 17th to 18th century

It was also the first UK university to be co-educational.

It’s not a large school, its total number of undergraduates just less than 20,000, but it does have strong political studies, where students can study the politics of individual countries and governments, the relationships between these countries and international agencies, etc.

Its economic department also emphasizes research and training in micro, macro, and econometrics before their students can proceed to a doctor’s degree in economics.


London School of Economics and Political Science


3 world leaders came from London School of Economics

Location: London, England, UK

Type of College: public research university

World-Leader Alumni: (3)

  • Lionel Zinsou, Prime Minister of Benin – Economic History (MA)
  • Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, President of Colombia – Economic Development (MA)
  • Ante Tong, President of Kiribati – Economics (MA)


The London School of Economics and Political Science or just LSE is even a smaller school than Bristol, with only around 10,000 students primarily because it’s a constituent college of the University of London.

It was founded separately though (one of its founders was in fact the playwright George Bernard Shaw) in 1895, and joined the University of London in 1900.

LSE is constantly recognized as one of the leading social science universities in the world.

Its research projects are acclaimed globally, and LSE is even part of the most prestigious group of elite universities in the United Kingdom, together with:

  • The University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • Imperial College of London
  • King’s College London
  • University College London

Its Department of Economics is one of the largest economic departments in the world.


Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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