A new report has revealed that Cambridge University leads Europe and Asia in the number of billionaires among the university’s alumni. With eleven billionaire former students, Cambridge has more of the wealthiest alumni than any other university outside the United States.

The research by finance firm Wealth-X reveals that the combined wealth of the Cambridge’s billionaire alumni comes to $48 billion.

Such individuals include the university’s current Chancellor, Lord David Sainsbury, who holds an estimated $1.1 billion dollars and media magnate David Thomson, the richest man in Canada with an estimated $20 billion to his name. Sainsbury studied for an undergraduate degree in history and psychology at King’s College, while Thomson graduated in history from Selwyn in 1978.

But the report reveals that Cambridge is far behind some American universities in terms of wealthy alumni. Leading the list is Harvard University with 52 billionaires whose combined wealth reaches $205 billion, more than four times that of Cambridge.

Harvard alumnus and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, depicted in the film The Social Network, has earned around $2.2 billion from his involvement with technology and internet ventures. The social network’s founder and current chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, is not counted in the list as he dropped out of his Harvard degree in his second year.

Cambridge is the only non-American university to make the top ten list for billionaire alumni, which also features the University of Pennsylvania, which comes in second with 28 ultra-rich former students, and Silicon Valley’s Stanford University, third with 27. Just above Cambridge’s eleven billionaires is Yale with 13 such alumni and Cornell and MIT with 14 each.

Chief executive of Wealth-X, Mykolas D Rambus, said such research into wealthy alumni is vital for universities looking to secure donations from past students. “That Cambridge University is the sole UK representative on Wealth-X’s top 10 Billionaire Alumni Universities league table is testament to its unique ability to attract the brightest minds and produce some of the world’s richest men and women”, he commented.

“It is irrefutable proof of the quality of British education.”

However, the report also shows that Cambridge is only 19th in the world for its number of ultra high net worth alumni, with 361 such past students currently controlling $93 billion. Oxford University, the only other British institution in the top 20 ultra high net worth alumni list, boasts 401 alumni in this super-wealthy bracket, yet between them their alumni own only $51 billion. 

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