This article from the United States of America embassy discusses the importance of higher education in the UK and the US, and how it powers the economies of both nations.
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"Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama agree that science and higher education are the foundation stones of their two nations’ 21st century economies and that the UK and U.S. have a responsibility to further their global leadership roles in these essential fields. The U.S. funds approximately one-third of the world’s scientific research and the UK is first among G-8 countries in scientific publications and citations as a fraction of GDP. In higher education, the U.S. and UK are home to the world’s ten highest ranking universities."
"The UK and the U.S. are world-leading knowledge economies and enjoy the most productive bilateral higher education relationship in the world, with each country being the other’s top destination for overseas study—a partnership worth more than $1 billion annually. The Prime Minister and President welcomed the forthcoming meeting of the UK-U.S. Higher Education Policy Forum. They also encouraged further strengthening of institutional higher education links including international internships and other modes of mutual mobility for students and faculty members—between the U.S. and UK and in cooperation with other global partners—to better equip American and British students with the skills needed to succeed in and bolster the global economy. "