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'Soft Power' at Risk as UK Slips Behind US in Educating World Leaders – Survey

'Soft Power' at Risk as UK Slips Behind US in Educating World Leaders – Survey



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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The UK has fallen behind the US in the rating of states educating the biggest number of world’s serving leaders, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) said on Tuesday, noting that London’s efforts to curb migration, including by cutting the number of overseas students, could lead to the loss of the “soft power capability.”

The UK government should not allow the immigration policy to restrict the numbers of foreign students seeking to study in UK universities as it directly affects the long-term level of the country’s international influence, HEPI Director Nick Hillman stressed.

“You build up incredible soft power if you educate the leading lights of other countries. In the past, we have been more successful than any other country in attracting the world’s future leaders. But these new figures suggest our position could be slipping. To ensure this does not become a long-term trend, we need to adopt a bold educational exports strategy, remove students from the main migration target and roll out the red carpet when people come to study here,” Hillman said as quoted in the survey.

READ MORE: UK Firms Face New Difficulties Amid Fall in Net EU Migration — Report

Out of about 200 acting presidents, prime ministers, and monarchs, 58 studied in the United States, 57 in the United Kingdom and 40 in France, according to the annual survey by HEPI. In the rating for 2017, the United Kingdom occupied the first position.

The research revealed that people, who were educated in the United Kingdom, are in leadership positions in the following countries — Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Burma and many others.

The issue of control over migration was at the center of the campaign before the 2016 Brexit referendum. The ruling Conservative Party has stressed since the country made the decision to quit the bloc that it would allow the United Kingdom to regain control of its borders.


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