Wanna be a Billionaire? Come to Cambridge

A study has revealed Cambridge to have the highest number of billionaire alumni outside the US.

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Cambridge was the only non-US institution to buy its way into the global top ten, with 11 billionaire alumni worth a total $48 billion.

Harvard led the way with 52 billionaire alumni amassing an impressive total wealth of $205 billion. This was almost double the next richest: the University of Pennsylvania produced 28 billionaires worth $112 billion.

The study was carried out by US finance firm Wealth-X in 2013.

Cambridge cashed in at 10th place with its money makers including current Chancellor of the University, Lord Sainsbury. Topping the Cambridge league is media mogul David Thomson, who is the richest man in Canada with a $23 billion fortune according to Forbes.

Making the big bucks

Making the big bucks

About a third of billionaires went to elite schools around the world, with a large number attaining degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Mykolas Rambus, chief executive of Wealth-X, praised Cambridge:

“The fact Cambridge University is the sole UK representative in the table is irrefutable proof of the quality of British education.”

Gender diversity remains a key issue, with only 12% of Cambridge billionaires being female. By comparison only 6% of Oxford’s and a tiny 2% of MIT’s female alumni are making the big bucks.

Hi David. Fancy paying some tuition fees?

Hi David. Fancy paying some tuition fees?

Wealth-X additionally calculated 361 “ultra high net worth individuals” (worth at least $30 million) amongst Cambridge alumni, tallying in with a total net worth of $93 billion.

Harvard topped those charts as well with 2,964 “ultra high net worth individuals” amongst its alumni, with a combined net worth of $622 billion.

Jonathan Wai, a research scientist at Duke University, emphasised the importance of university:

“The U.S. media has used billionaires Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as examples illustrating why completing college is not necessary for success, when in fact they are the exception to the rule.”

Oxford did not feature in the top ten.