Developing the next generation of leaders: A global study of student leadership

Ewan Wright, Moosung Lee, Allan Walker, Darren Bryant, Sobin Choi, Kanwal Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schools play a crucial role in developing the next generation of
leaders. However, most leadership research in schools focuses on
adults rather than students. In this article, we apply a reimagined
human capital framework to investigate student perspectives on
leadership at a global association of elite schools. Based on survey
data from 6,760 students in 34 countries and interview data from 93
students in 11 countries, the findings demonstrate student perspectives
on leadership, how leadership is developed, and how student
leaders can drive social change. First, we discuss how schools can
support leadership development by understanding how students
conceptualise leadership, promoting an ethos that leadership can
be learnt, and providing opportunities for ‘hands-on’ leadership
experience. Second, we highlight student views on the social returns
of student leadership. Finally, we draw attention to the importance of
inclusivity in leadership opportunities. Overall, we underscore the
importance of schools expanding student leadership opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalEducational Studies
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2023


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