It is often said that the number of current world leaders who chose to be educated in another country can serve as a useful, though rough and incomplete, indicator of ‘soft power. . . . Since 2015, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has been publishing desk research on the tertiary education of serving heads of state and heads of government and determined how many sitting world leaders in 195 countries around the globe were educated in other countries too.
Where world leaders were educated
Counting the education of world leaders is quite challenging. Some of the criteria includes: You have to decide what a ‘leader’ is. They define the term in a restrictive way to mean only heads of state and heads of government(monarchs, presidents, prime ministers). You have to define what a country is. They define countries as places that are members of, or observers at, the United Nations (currently 195 places). You have to decide what types of tertiary education count. You have to decide whether only some qualifications or periods of study count (a year abroad in one country counts as much as a whole degree or a doctorate), and you have to decide whether to exclude anyone becasuse they seem unpalatable.
According to 2019, the US cemented its position a the most popular place of study for overseas students who later go on to lead their countries.