Scientific minds are honed at top universities but formed in homes where inquiring, schooled minds are nurtured at an early age and expectations of academic excellence set. If you don't get that start in life, the ascent to the top is now exponentially steeper.
Of the 153 bachelor's and master's degrees and doctorates awarded around the world to the members to the CNBC NEXT List, 99 of them are from universities, both public and private, that make the top 50 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The total would top the 100 mark if the list was extended to the top 54 universities.
More remarkably, a third are from just three private U.S. institutions of higher learning—Harvard, Stanford and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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True, these are schools that can pick and choose from the best students in the world. They have the financial resources to offer the scholarships to secure their presence. And the best cluster with the best; you would expect such universities to produce more than their fair share of groundbreaking business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Stanford is the community college of America's entrepreneurial tech disruptors in Silicon Valley. Harvard is located in the second most fertile tech center in the U.S. Wharton is a recognized center of excellence for finance and economics. All three universities can also boast preeminent business schools that provide another nexus of connections, crucially to finance.
The educational attainments of theNEXT List reflect a recent Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 study from Swiss banking group UBS. It found that the 2,300 billionaires around the world are disproportionately likely to have gone to university. Almost two-thirds of them have at least an undergraduate degree. One in 4 have a postgraduate degree and more than 1 in 10 a doctorate.