Who wants to be a billionaire?

An extraordinary proportion – nearly a quarter – of the world’s billionaires are graduates of ten American universities. In addition, a large proportion of these billionaires started off rich, went to universities endowed with huge resources and social cachet, and became even richer. This is a world in which generally perceived institutional excellence is locked into social advantage, where rich graduates donate large funds to their already well-funded universities and ensure the continuation of a particular cycle of elitism, which is reinforced by a widespread belief that these ‘elite’ universities represent the best and only viable model of excellence.

If our societies are really to be more meritocratic and egalitarian, it is vital that we should move away from this kind of institutional elitism. The universities listed are all great institutions, but they do not represent the only acceptable quality mark of excellence. It is therefore increasingly important for modern systems of higher education to run with a variety of models, and to fund these to level at which they can pursue genuine innovation – and to secure a more inclusive system fit for the future.

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One Comment on “Who wants to be a billionaire?”

  1. Vince Says:

    Many people find meritocratic and egalitarian applies only when crossing the drawbridge just before they pull the thing up. It struck me when Blair squandered a vast majority that there wasn’t a whole lot of difference between his meritocratic and egalitarian beliefs and those of Thatcher.

    I would query the spend of Atlantic Philanthropies for I think it would’ve been better deployed to a Green Field uni not to all the old inner city institutions. But I expect like with the Kids Hospital, many oars were in the water.


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