Number of billionaire alumni: 11
Total billionaire wealth: $48 billion
Number of UHNW (Ultra-High Net Worth) alumni: 361
Total UHNW wealth: $93 billion
Self-made wealth: 70 percent
The Duke University study shows “the importance of education and cognitive ability in being able to attain a position in the global elite.” About a third of billionaires went to elite schools around the world, with a large number attaining degrees in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The study also suggests that the modern uber-wealthy work hard to get and stay there.
“As (former WSJ reporter Robert) Frank puts it: ‘The idle rich are being replaced by the workaholic wealthy,’” Wai writes.
“I think we should deeply consider the implications when a select group of scary smart people also tend to hold a disproportionate share of global wealth and power,” Wai told CNBC. “We depend on these people to make wise decisions for all of us. ”
The results mirror a study published last year by Wealth-X that maps out which of the world’s universities produce the most billionaires and “ultra high net wealth” individuals—that is, those with $30 million or more in assets. The vast majority of the fortunes made by these wealthy alumni had been self-made.
The universities are ranked by the most billionaire alumni, according to Wealth-X. But a billionaire count does not a university make. Those merely boasting alumni with “ultra high net wealth,” or UHNW, of $30 million or more are also noted, along with the percentage of self-made wealth.