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UK uni CEO 2023

Get that bag: These are the universities churning out the most CEOs in 2023

Basically just sack off the Russell Group


Most grads after finishing uni are lucky to even get a job, never mind having their sights set on becoming a CEO after uni. But if you can get past wondering what you’re gonna have for dinner tomorrow (it will definitely be pesto pasta) and your 10-year plan involves becoming a CEO, then there is a specific list of universities you need to be going to in 2023.

Financial services company Novuna Business Cash Flow has analysed 121 universities and 9.7 million alumni profiles on LinkedIn to find out which universities produce the most CEOs.

And in other words, you need to just drop out of your Russell Group uni now because only four out of 25 of these universities are Russell Group.

So here are the UK unis you need to go in 2023 to if you want to be a CEO after graduating:

25. London South Bank University

At the bottom of the list is London South Bank University where 4.63 per cent of its students went on to be CEOs or managing directors after uni.

24. University of Gloucestershire

4.65 per cent of graduates of The University of Gloucestershire have become CEOs or managing directors in their careers after leaving uni.

23. Oxford Brookes University

Brookes students’ motto might be “Brookes not books” but this is clearly forgotten the second they leave uni with 4.67 of its students going on to be CEOs.

22. Imperial College, London

Surprisingly quite low on the list, 4.68 per cent of all Imperial students have gone on to be the CEOs of their companies.

21. City, University of London

Producing slightly more than Imperial, 4.73 per cent of City, University of London students have gone on to be CEOs.

20. University of East London

Another London uni, 4.76 per cent of students at The University of East London have gone on to be CEOs or managing directors at their companies.

19. Leeds Trinity University

Beating its Russell Group counterpart Uni of Leeds, 4.77 per cent of students at Leeds Trinity are now CEOs.

18. Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Beating its Russell Group counterpart Uni of Leeds, 4.77 per cent of students at Leeds Trinity are now CEOs.

18. Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

4.93 per cent of The University of Chichester’s students have graduated uni and are now a managing director or CEO.

16. University of Suffolk

The University in Suffolk, which came 106th in The Times Good University Guide is 16th for its grads now being in charge. 5.12 per cent of its alumni are now CEOs.

15. University of Bradford

With 5.20 per cent of its alumni as CEOs, The University of Bradford is 15th. Bradford was ranked 108th in this year’s Times Good University Guide.

14. Buckinghamshire New University

Buckinghamshire New University has a 5.26 percentage of grads in CEO positions. Buckinghamshire New University came 127th in The Times good University Guide 2024.

13. St Mary’s University, Twickenham

One of nine London unis on this list, 5.34 per cent of all St Mary’s University, Twickenham students are now in CEO or managing director positions.

12. London Metropolitan University

UK Uni CEO 2023

At 12th, 5.44 per cent of London Metropolitan University students have gone on to work as CEOs or managing directors at various companies.

11. University of Dundee

Ranking at 33rd in The Times Good University Guide 2024, The University of Dundee is 11th for the most of its grads in CEO positions with 5.50 per cent.

10. Middlesex University

Number 10 for the number of its grads now in charge, 5.53 per cent of all Middlesex alumni are now managing directors or CEOs.

9. York St John University

Far beating its rival The University of York, of all of York St John University grads, 5.54 per cent of them are now CEOs.

8. University of Bolton

Recently under fire for wanting to be rename itself to University of Greater Manchester, Bolton Uni is eighth for producing the most CEOS with 5.58 per cent of all students in charge.

7. Wrexham Glyndwr University

Of all of Wrexham Glyndwr University’s students, 5.62 per cent of them are now CEOs or managing directors. Wrexham Glyndwr is based in Wrexham, Wales and ranked as the 122nd best university in The UK in The Times 2024 rankings.

6. University of Oxford

Surprisingly low for a university that is consistently one of the best in the country, 5.93 per cent of Oxford graduates are now in a CEO or managing director position. Oxford was found to be the second best university in the UK in both the Times and Guardian rankings.

5. SOAS University of London

SOAS University of London in Bloomsbury is fifth for the most of its alumni in charge. 6.14 per cent of SOAS grads are now CEOs. SOAS was ranked 28th in this year’s Times Uni Rankings.

4. University of Cambridge

Just like Oxford, it is surprising that Cambridge is only number four on this ranking. 6.74 per cent of all Cambridge grads leave uni to become CEOs at their companies. Cambridge recently ranked number three in The Times Good University Guide.

3. London School of Economics

With how put together LSE students look, it’s no surprise that London School of Economics produce some of the most CEOS out of all UK unis. 7.67 per cent of all its students are now CEOs or managing directors. This is the highest of all London universities.

2. University of Cumbria

Quite a rogue university for the number two spot, 8.22 per cent of all University of Cumbria students have gone on to become a CEO. Cumbria University is based in the Lake District and the only UK university campus on a UNESCO World Heritage site. It came 129th in the overall Times’ 2024 rankings.

1. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

And topping the UK uni CEOS of 2023, 15.76 per cent of all Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh’s students have left uni to become successful CEOS or managing directors. Heriot-Watt recently ranked as the 64th best uni in the UK in the Times Good University Guide and 45th in the Guardian’s uni rankings.

Featured image before edits via Christian Velitchkov and Dorin Seremet on Unsplash. 

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