International education plays a crucial role in advancing student careers and taking them close to success. A  new report validates the fact by stating that more than one-third of top global CEOs have completed a study abroad programme in some form. The numbers are increasing over time, with African CEOs being ahead of others for an internationalised experience. Conversely, the lowest number of CEOs with international education experience hailed from the US.

The report is released by, a Germany-based study choice portal. It is based on the academic background of leading CEOs from across the globe. The survey was taken by 283 CEOs helming the largest public companies in the world. Over a quarter of the participants work in a country other than their home, with the largest share being in Europe and Australia. Most foreign CEOs working in these countries belong to the UK or New Zealand.

The variance between regions is stark when it comes to the origin of the CEOs who studied abroad. Among them, 68% are from Africa and 54% are from Latin America. The US has only a 13% share of the total. Of the youngest third of the participants in the survey, 41% have experienced studying in another country. Europe’s percentage is 30%, while Asia holds 31%, and Australia has a 45% share of CEOs studying abroad.

Evidently, international education contributes to the academic background of professionals by getting them ready for a management role. It empowers students with a diverse mindset, enabling them to make better management decisions in top roles in organizations. Moreover, these professionals show more stable performance in the long run.

However, affordability is one factor that slows down the process as overseas education continues to be a privilege. The good thing is that the situation has improved over the last decade, with institutional partnerships and mobility schemes such as Erasmus+ playing a key role. Additionally, more virtual mobility options are available to international education aspirants. Even as they cannot replace physical experience, they can still offer a close replica.

Another trend that surfaced in the report is a lack of female leadership in top global posts. The figure stands at a minimal of 4.6%, with almost half of these companies being from the US. When it comes to the level of education taken up by the top CEOs, 66% of the participants have completed a master’s or doctorate degree. Surprisingly, 2% of them did not attend university at all.

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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