A new graduate ‘rich list’ has revealed the universities where students are most likely to become multi-millionaires.

Oxford comes top after producing 401 alumni worth £20million or more, and Cambridge is in second place with 361 – but Cambridge has the most billionaires.

The average super-rich graduate from Cambridge has a fortune of £169million, more than twice as much as Oxford’s ultra-wealthy ex-students.

Three London universities make up the rest of the list’s top five, with Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham also appearing high on the list.


Topping the list: Oxford has more super-wealthy graduates than any other British university as 401 of its alumni have amassed fortunes of more than £20million, with an average of £83million each


Wealth: Cambridge has produced 361 multi-millionaire alumni worth an average of £169million each




Cambridge’s wealthy alumni, including Cobra Beer entrepreneur Lord Bilimoria, actor Sacha Baron Cohen and former Barclays chairman Marcus Agius, have a combined wealth of £61billion, according to the study by wealth analyst Wealth-X.


The average super-rich Oxford graduate, a group including the likes of financier Nat Rothschild, Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and comedian Michael Palin, is worth £83million.


1) Oxford – 401 super-rich graduates worth an average £83m each – alumni include Michael Palin

2) Cambridge – 361, £169m – including Sacha Baron Cohen

3) LSE – 273, £84m – including Sir Mick Jagger

4) Imperial – 127, £67m – including Brian May

5) London Business School – 106, £99m – including Cyrus Mistry

6) Manchester – 102, £22m – including Sir Terry Leahy

7) UCL – 99, £29m – including Ricky Gervais

8) Nottingham – 92, £22m – including Sir John Sawers

9) Edinburgh – 80, £52m – including Sir Chris Hoy

10) Birmingham – 68, £69m – including David Gill

The list was compiled by counting up the number of former students from each university who are believed to be worth at least £20million, taking into account their earnings, properties and other assets

London universities occupy the rest of the list’s top five, with London School of Economics, Imperial College London and London Business School in third, fourth and fifth place.

While London Business School may be best-known for its successful business leaders such as Cyrus Mistry, chairman of Indian conglomerate Tata Teas, it also boasts political gradautes such as minister Justine Greening.

The only other institution to boast more than 100 mega-rich alumni is the University of Manchester.

However, on a global scale the Oxbridge universities are the only British institutions to make the cut, with 17 of the top 20 wealth creators being from the U.S.

Despite the reputation of Oxford and Cambridge as bastions of the aristocratic elite, relatively few of their multi-millionaires inherited their wealth.

More than two thirds of Oxbridge alumni worth more than £20million made their fortunes through their own efforts with no help from their families.

At the University of Edinburgh, by contrast, fewer than half made their millions thanks to an entrepreneurial spirit, with the majority relying on an inheritance to build their own fortune.

The University of Birmingham is where the most self-made millionaires can be found – 84 per cent of its super-rich graduates became wealthy on their own.


Entrepreneurial: 84 per cent of the 68 super-rich from the University of Birmingham, pictured, made their money themselves without inheriting from their families



Contrast: At the University of Edinburgh, fewer than half the 80 multi-millionaire alumni made their money without help from their families


Oxford: Wealthy alumni of the university include financier Nat Rothschild, who is worth £700million, and entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox, believed to have a £300million fortune; both of them studied history


1) Harvard University – 2,964 alumni worth a total of $622bn

2) University of Pennsylvania – 1,502 alumni worth $242bn

3) Stanford University – 1,174 alumni worth $171bn

4) Columbia University – 889 alumni worth $116bn

5) New York University – 828 alumni worth $110bn

6) University of Chicago – 658 alumni worth $144bn

7) Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 581 alumni worth $172bn

8) Yale University – 568 alumni worth $125bn

9) Cornell University – 528 alumni worth $60bn

10) Princeton University – 508 alumni worth $70bn

11) University of Virginia – 499 alumni worth $31bn

12) Boston University – 291 alumni worth $38bn

13) Northwestern University – 451 alumni worth $36bn

14) University of California, Berkeley – 447 alumni worth $72bn

15) University of Michigan – 410 alumni worth $70bn

16) University of Oxford – 401 alumni worth $51bn

17) University of Southern California – 374 alumni worth $66bn

18) University of Mumbai – 372 alumni worth $37bn

19) University of Cambridge – 361 alumni worth $93bn

20) Brown University – 349 alumni worth $23bn




Previous research has suggested that the most lucrative subjects to study are medicine, law and engineering, which all give their students a significant earnings boost over the course of their careers.

The least well-paying degrees are the arts and humanities – but that did not stop history graduates like Mr Baron Cohen and Lady Lane Fox from becoming extremely wealthy.

The overwhelming majority of ‘ultra-high-net-worth individuals’ from British universities are male, with just one in 11 of them being women.

For Oxford graduates, the situation is even more one-sided – 94 per cent of its super-wealthy alumni are men.


Cambridge: Actor Sacha Baron Cohen, a former history student, and beer mogul Lord Bilimoria, who studied law have both amassed large fortunes – nearly £70million and as much as £80million respectively


Number three: The London School of Economics has 273 super-rich alumni including singer Mick Jagger, who took courses in business at the university



Number four: Among the 127 multi-millionaires produced by Imperial College London are Queen’s Brian May, a noted scientist with a PhD in astrophysics


While higher education in the UK clearly deserves some of the credit for the success of its alumni, the average super-rich graduate is well out of university at the age of 57.

Mike Byrne of Wealth-X said the findings showed that future business leaders were still attracted to British universities.

’17 out of the 24 Russell Group universities are featured in the report, which reflects the ability of such prestigious institutions to attract high-calibre individuals, who proceed to create financial success,’ he said.

Despite the strong showing of many British institutions, the U.S. dominates the global rich list – Harvard, in top spot, has almost 3,000 graduates worth more than £20million, nearly twice as many as second-placed Penn.

Oxford stands at number 16 in the international list, with Cambridge at number 19.