London School of Economics

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The London School of Economics and Political Science
London School of Economics Coat of Arms.svg
Coat of arms of the LSE
MottoLatin: Rerum cognoscere causas
Motto in English"To Know the Causes of Things"
ChairmanPeter Sutherland
ChancellorHRH The Princess Royal (University of London)
DirectorCraig Calhoun
VisitorThe Rt Hon Nick Clegg
As Lord President of the Council ex officio
Academic staff1,303
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°30′50″N 0°07′00″W / 51.51389°N 0.11667°W / 51.51389; -0.11667
NewspaperThe Beaver
ColoursPurple, black and gold[3]
AffiliationsACU, APSIA, CEMS, EUA, G5, Russell Group, University of London, Universities UK, Golden triangle
London school of economics logo with name.svg
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The London School of Economics and Political Science
London School of Economics Coat of Arms.svg
Coat of arms of the LSE
MottoLatin: Rerum cognoscere causas
Motto in English"To Know the Causes of Things"
ChairmanPeter Sutherland
ChancellorHRH The Princess Royal (University of London)
DirectorCraig Calhoun
VisitorThe Rt Hon Nick Clegg
As Lord President of the Council ex officio
Academic staff1,303
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°30′50″N 0°07′00″W / 51.51389°N 0.11667°W / 51.51389; -0.11667
NewspaperThe Beaver
ColoursPurple, black and gold[3]
AffiliationsACU, APSIA, CEMS, EUA, G5, Russell Group, University of London, Universities UK, Golden triangle
London school of economics logo with name.svg

The London School of Economics and Political Science (informally the London School of Economics or LSE) is a public research university specialised in social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas and George Bernard Shaw, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and first issued degrees to its students in 1902.[4] Despite its name, LSE conducts teaching and research across a range of social sciences, as well as in mathematics, statistics, philosophy and history.[5]

LSE is located in Westminster, central London, near the boundary between Covent Garden and Holborn in an area historically known as Clare Market. It has around 9,500 full-time students and just over 3,000 staff [6] and had a total income of £263.2 million in 2012/13, of which £23.7 million was from research grants.[7] The School is organised into 24 academic departments and 19 research centres.[8][9] LSE's library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, contains over 4 million print volumes, 60,000 online journals and 29,000 electronic books.[10] The Digital Library contains digitised material from LSE Library collections and also born-digital material that has been collected and preserved in digital formats.[11]

LSE is considered a world leading social sciences dedicated institution.[12][13][14] The 2013 QS World University Rankings ranked LSE 2nd within the discipline of social sciences and management and 4th for employer reputation.[15] The 2013-2014 Times Higher Education puts LSE thirteenth with regard to social sciences and 32nd overall.[16][17] The Times Higher Education's 2014 World Reputation Ranking placed LSE 24th.[18] In the UK, the School was ranked 3rd in all domestic ranking tables, including Complete University Guide 2014, "The Guardian's ranking 2014", and The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014.[19][20] The former also ranked LSE in the top three universities for various subjects, including law, economics, geography, history and philosophy.[21][22][23][24][25]

The School has produced many notable alumni in the fields of law, economics, philosophy, business, literature and politics. To date, there have been 16 Nobel Prize winners amongst its alumni and current and former staff,[26] at least 37 world leaders,[27] 6 Pulitzer Prize winners[citation needed] and fellows of the British Academy[citation needed].

LSE is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs,[28] the European University Association,[29] the G5, the Global Alliance in Management Education, the Russell Group and Universities UK.[30] It is sometimes described as forming part of the 'golden triangle' of British universities.[31]



The London School of Economics was founded in 1895[32] by Beatrice and Sidney Webb,[33] initially funded by a bequest of £20,000[34][35] from the estate of Henry Hunt Hutchinson. Hutchinson, a lawyer[34] and member of the Fabian Society,[36][37] left the money in trust, to be put "towards advancing its [The Fabian Society's] objects in any way they [the trustees] deem advisable".[37] The five trustees were Sidney Webb, Edward Pease, Constance Hutchinson, William de Mattos and William Clark.[34]

LSE records that the proposal to establish the school was conceived during a breakfast meeting on 4 August 1894, between the Webbs, Graham Wallas and George Bernard Shaw.[32] The proposal was accepted by the trustees in February 1895[37] and LSE held its first classes in October of that year, in rooms at 9 John Street, Adelphi,[38] in the City of Westminster.

20th century[edit]

The School joined the federal University of London in 1900, becoming the university's Faculty of Economics and awarding degrees of the University from 1902.[38] Expanding rapidly over the following years, the school moved initially to the nearby 10 Adelphi Terrace, then to Clare Market and Houghton Street. The foundation stone of the Old Building, on Houghton Street, was laid by King George V in 1920;[32] the building was opened in 1922.

Friedrich Hayek, who taught at LSE during the 1930 and 1940s

The 1930s economic debate between LSE and Cambridge is well known in academic circles. Rivalry between academic opinion at LSE and Cambridge goes back to the school's roots when LSE's Edwin Cannan (1861–1935), Professor of Economics, and Cambridge's Professor of Political Economy, Alfred Marshall (1842–1924), the leading economist of the day, argued about the bedrock matter of economics and whether the subject should be considered as an organic whole. (Marshall disapproved of LSE's separate listing of pure theory and its insistence on economic history.)

The dispute also concerned the question of the economist's role, and whether this should be as a detached expert or a practical adviser. LSE and Cambridge economists worked jointly in the 1920s—for example, the London and Cambridge Economic Service—but the 1930s brought a return to the dispute as LSE and Cambridge argued over the solution to the economic depression.

LSE's Lionel Robbins and Friedrich Hayek, and Cambridge's John Maynard Keynes were chief figures in the intellectual disagreement between the institutions. The controversy widened from deflation versus demand management as a solution to the economic problems of the day, to broader conceptions of economics and macroeconomics. Robbins and Hayek's views were based on the Austrian School of Economics with its emphasis on free trade and anti-interventionism, while Keynes advanced a brand of economic theory now known as Keynesianism which advocates active policy responses by the public sector.

During World War II, the School decamped from London to University of Cambridge, occupying buildings belonging to Peterhouse.[39]

The School's arms,[40] including its motto and beaver mascot, were adopted in February 1922,[41] on the recommendation of a committee of twelve, including eight students, which was established to research the matter.[42] The Latin motto, "Rerum cognoscere causas", is taken from Virgil's Georgics. Its English translation is "to Know the Causes of Things"[41] and it was suggested by Professor Edwin Cannan.[32] The beaver mascot was selected for its associations with "foresight, constructiveness and industrious behaviour".[42]

21st century[edit]

Stonework featuring the initials of LSE

LSE continues to have a wide impact within British society, through its relationships and influence in politics, business and law. The Guardian describes such influence when it stated:

Once again the political clout of the school, which seems to be closely wired into parliament, Whitehall and the Bank of England, is being felt by ministers.... The strength of LSE is that it is close to the political process: Mervyn King, was a former LSE professor. The chairman of the House of Commons education committee, Barry Sheerman, sits on its board of governors, along with Labour peer Lord (Frank) Judd. Also on the board are Tory MPs Virginia Bottomley and Richard Shepherd, as well as Lord Saatchi and Lady Howe.[43]

Recently, the School has been active in opposing British government proposals to introduce compulsory ID cards,[44][45] researching into the associated costs of the scheme, and shifting public and government opinion on the issue.[46] The institution is also popular with politicians and MPs to launch new policy, legislation and manifesto pledges, prominently with the launch of the Liberal Democrats Manifesto Conference under Nick Clegg on 12 January 2008.[47][48]

In the early 2010s, its academics have been at the forefront of both national and international government consultations, reviews and policy, including representation on the UK Airports Commission,[49] Independent Police Commission,[50] Migration Advisory Committee,[51] UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation,[52] London Finance Commission,[53] HS2 Limited,[54] and advising on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics[55]

The Sunday Times' recent profile of LSE for the 2008 Sunday Times University Guide commented:

There are many who have achieved in the world of politics, business or academia who can trace their success to the years they spent at LSE. Inspired by tuition from academics who are often familiar faces, if not household names, LSE students take their first steps to greatness in the debating chambers, cafes, bars – and even occasionally in their seminar groups – during three or four years of studying.[56]

The School is heavily targeted by employers and its graduates are in great demand despite the current economic climate. It has ranked in the top four best global universities according to employers for the past five years.[57] The vast majority of LSE students are engaged in employment or further study within six months of graduating and the School is listed first for employability in the 2012 Sunday Times Good University Guide.[58] The most common sectors for LSE graduates to work in within six months of graduating are banking, finance and accountancy; development, NGOs and international organisations; consultancy; education; and central and local government.[59] In addition, the average starting salary of graduates who have completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees with LSE is significantly higher than the overall national average salary with £28,100 (undergraduates) and £35,400 (graduates).[60]

Professor Craig Calhoun took up the post of Director in September 2012. Its previous Director, Professor Judith Rees, is also chair of the school's Grantham Institute on Climate Change, an adviser to the World Bank as well as sitting on the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and the International Scientific Advisory Council (ISAC).[61] She is also a former Convenor of the Department of Geography and Environment, and served as Deputy Director from 1998–2004.

Calhoun's predecessor, Sir Howard Davies stepped down after controversy regarding the school's links to the Libyan regime. In February 2011, LSE had to face the consequences of awarding a PhD to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, while accepting a £1.5m donation to university from his family.[62]

In March 2011, Howard Davies resigned over allegations about the institution's links to the Libyan regime.[63] The LSE announced in a statement that it had accepted his resignation with "great regret" and that it had set up an external inquiry into the school's relationship with the Libyan regime and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, to be conducted by the former lord chief justice Harry Woolf.[63]

Campus and estate[edit]

LSE moved to its present day central London campus at Clare Market and Houghton Street in Westminster, off the Aldwych and next to the Royal Courts of Justice and Temple Bar in 1902. In 1920, King George V laid the foundation of the Old Building, which remains the principal building on campus.

LSE's Old Building
32 Lincoln's Inn Fields houses the Department of Economics and International Growth Centre
The New Academic Building houses the Departments of Management and Law
The Old Curiosity Shop, which is located at the heart of the LSE campus
The George IV, a pub owned by LSE

Over the years the School has gradually increased its ownership of adjacent buildings, creating an almost continuous campus between Kingsway and the Royal Courts. It now comprises approximately thirty buildings on the Aldwych campus as well as twelve halls of residence across the capital, two public houses, a nursery school, West End theatre (the Peacock), medical centre and sports grounds in Berrylands, south London. It is also noted for its numerous statues and public art, including Richard Wilson’s Square the Block,[64] Blue Rain[65] and the campus’ unofficial mascot, the Penguin.

In the early 2000s, the LSE campus began a period of renewal beginning with the £35 million renovation of the Lionel Robbins Building by Sir Norman Foster to house the British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES), the world's largest social science and political library, containing over 4.7 million volumes. This also makes it the second largest single entity library in Britain, after the British Library at King's Cross.[66]

A recent fund-raising scheme, called the “Campaign for LSE” raised over £100 million in one of the largest university fund-raising exercises ever seen in Britain. In 2003, LSE purchased the former Public Trustee building at 24 Kingsway, and engaged Sir Nicholas Grimshaw to redesign it into an ultra-modern educational facility at a total cost of over £45 million - increasing the size of the campus by 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2). The building opened for teaching in October 2008, with an official opening by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on 5 November 2008.[67]

The School now has an ongoing capital investment project, purchasing a number of sites to add to its portfolio. In November 2009, LSE purchased the freeholds of both Sardinia House, overlooking the New Academic Building, and the Old White Horse public house. In October 2010 it was announced the School had been successful in acquiring for freehold of the grade-II listed Land Registry Building at 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which was reopened in March 2013 by HRH The Princess Royal as the new home for the Department of Economics and its associated research centres.

The first new building on the site in 35 years, the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, opened in January 2014 providing new accommodation for the Students’ Union, accommodation office and careers service as well as a bar, events space, gymnasium, rooftop terrace, learning café, dance studio and media centre.[68] The building, designed as a showpiece for the City of Westminster and Midtown was recognised as having a low environmental impact receiving an ‘Outstanding’ status under BREEAM, and in 2012 was one of three winners of the New London Award in the Education category.[69][70]

In September 2013, LSE purchased the freehold of 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, currently the home of Cancer Research UK’s laboratories which it will move into in 2016.[71] It has also recently completed a RIBA design competition for a new £90 million building to house the Global Centre for the Social Sciences, which was won by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, construction of which will begin in spring 2014.[72]

Location and transport[edit]

LSE is situated in the City of Westminster between Covent Garden, Aldwych and Temple Bar, bordering the City of London. It resides adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice, Lincoln's Inn and Kingsway, in what used to be Clare Market. The School lies within the London Congestion Charge zone.

The nearest London Underground stations are Holborn, Temple and Covent Garden. Charing Cross, at the Trafalgar Square end of Strand, and the City Thameslink entrance at Ludgate Hill are the nearest mainline stations, whilst London Waterloo is a walk or bus across the River Thames. Buses to Aldwych, Kingsway and the Royal Courts of Justice will stop a short distance from the School.

Organisation and administration[edit]


LSE is incorporated under the Companies Act as a company limited by guarantee and is an exempt charity within the meaning of Schedule Two of the Charities Act 1993.[73] The principal governance bodies of the LSE are: the LSE Council; the Court of Governors; the Academic Board; and the Director and Director’s Management Team.[73]

The LSE Council is responsible for strategy and its members are company directors of the school. It has specific responsibilities in relation to areas including: the monitoring of institutional performance; finance and financial sustainability; audit arrangements; estate strategy; human resource and employment policy; health and safety; "educational character and mission", and student experience. The council is supported in carrying out its role by a number of committees which report directly to it.[73]

The Court of Governors deals with certain constitutional matters and has pre-decision discussions on key policy issues and the involvement of individual governors in the school's activities. The court has the following formal powers: the appointment of members of court, its subcommittees and of the council; election of the chair and vice chairs of the court and council and honorary fellows of the School; the amendment of the Memorandum and Articles of Association; and the appointment of external auditors.[73]

The Academic Board is LSE's principal academic body, and considers all major issues of general policy affecting the academic life of the School and its development. It is chaired by the director, with staff and student membership, and is supported by its own structure of committees. The Vice Chair of the Academic Board serves as a non-director member of the council and makes a termly report to the Council.[73]


The director is the head of LSE and its chief executive officer, responsible for executive management and leadership on academic issues. The director reports to and is accountable to the Council. The director is also the accountable officer for the purposes of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Financial Memorandum. The School’s current director is Craig Calhoun.

1895–1903William Hewins
1903–1908Sir Halford Mackinder
1908–1919The Hon. William Pember Reeves
1919–1937Lord Beveridge
1937–1957Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders
1957–1967Sir Sydney Caine
1967–1974Sir Walter Adams
1974–1984Lord Dahrendorf
1984–1990Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel
1990–1996Sir John Ashworth
1996–2003Lord Giddens
2003–2011Sir Howard Davies
2011–2012Dame Judith Rees
2012 –Craig Calhoun


In the financial year ended 31 July 2011, LSE had a total income (including share of joint ventures) of £233.7 million (2009/10 – £220.92 million) and total expenditure of £214.84 million (2009/10 – £201.69 million).[73] Key sources of income included £114.71 million from tuition fees and education contracts (2009/10 – £106.61 million), £29.65 million from Funding Council grants (2009/10 – £30.62 million), £24.07 million from research grants and contracts (2009/10 – £23.87 million) and £6.04 million from endowment and investment income (2009/10 – £4.81 million).[73] During the 2010/11 financial year LSE had a capital expenditure of £47.0 million (2009/10 – £10.6 million).[73]

At year end LSE had endowments of £81.72 million (2009/10 – £72.63 million) and total net assets of £365.59 million (2009/10 – £337.23 million).[73]

Academic profile[edit]


St Clement's Building

Admission to LSE is highly competitive.[citation needed] In In 2012, the school received 17,500 applications for 1,200 undergraduate places.[74] This means that there were approximately 14.6 applicants per place, with UCAS permitting undergraduate applicants to apply to no more than five institutions. Most programmes have typical offers of A*A*A-AAA at A level, with new undergraduates in 2013 arriving with an average of 551 UCAS points (equivalent to over AAAA at A level).

Entry standards are also high for postgraduate students, who are required to have (for taught Master's programmes) a First Class or high Upper Second Class UK honours degree, or its foreign equivalent.[75] The applications success rate for postgraduate programmes varies, although most of the major courses, including Economics and Law, consistently have an acceptance rate below 7%.[citation needed] Some of the very top premium programmes such as the MSc Finance and the MSc Financial Mathematics have admission rates below 5%.[76][77]

Programmes and degrees[edit]

View of Houghton Street

LSE is dedicated solely to the study and research of social sciences, and is the only university in the UK to be so. LSE awards a range of academic degrees spanning bachelors, masters and PhDs. The postnominals awarded are the degree abbreviations used commonly among British universities.

The School offers over 140 MSc programmes, 5 MPA programmes, an LLM, 30 BSc programmes, an LLB and 4 BA programmes (including International History and Geography).[78] LSE is the only British university to teach a BSc in Economic History. Other subjects pioneered by LSE include anthropology, criminology, social psychology, sociology and social policy; with international relations being first taught as a discipline at LSE.[79] Courses are split across more than thirty research centres and nineteen departments, plus a Language Centre.[80] Since programmes are all within the social sciences, they closely resemble each other, and undergraduate students usually take at least one course module in a subject outside of their degree for their first and second years of study, promoting a broader education in the social sciences. At undergraduate level, certain departments are very small (90 students across three years of study), ensuring small lecture sizes and a more hands-on approach than other institutions. Since September 2010, it has been compulsory for first year undergraduates to participate in LSE 100: Understanding the Causes of Things alongside normal studies.

In conjunction with New York University's Stern School and HEC Paris LSE also offers an executive global MBA called TRIUM. This is globally ranked second by the Financial Times and strives to meld the strong social sciences, management strategy and financial accumen providing senior executives a well rounded view.

From 1902, following its absorption into the University of London, and up until 2007, all degrees were awarded by the federal university, in common with all other colleges of the university. This system was changed in 2007 in order to enable some colleges to award their own degrees. LSE was granted the power to begin awarding its own degrees from June 2008. Students graduating between June 2008 and June 2010 have the option of receiving a degree either from the University of London or the school. All undergraduate students entering from 2007 and postgraduate students from 2009 received an LSE degree.[citation needed]

LSE does not award annual honorary degrees in common with other universities. In its 113-year history, the school has awarded fifteen honorary doctorates to established figures such as Nelson Mandela (Doctor of Science, Economics).


In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, LSE had the highest percentage of world-leading research of any British higher education institution.[81] The Independent Newspaper placed LSE first in the country for its research, on the basis that 35% of its faculty were judged to be doing world leading work, compared to 32% for both Oxford and Cambridge respectively.[82] Furthermore, according to the Times Newspaper, LSE ranks as joint-second (with Oxford) by grade point average across the fourteen units of assessment submitted, behind only Cambridge.[83][84][85] According to these RAE results, LSE is the UK's top research university in Anthropology, Economics, Law, Social Policy and European Studies.[86][87]

Centres and think tanks[edit]

The School houses a number of notable centres and think tanks, including LSE IDEAS, the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, LSE Global Governance, the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the Crisis States Research Centre and the LSE Public Policy Group.

The influence of these centres is diverse and significant, with much of the research they generate feeding into the formulation of high level policy. For example, in a global survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, LSE IDEAS and the LSE Public Policy Group were jointly ranked as world's second-best university think tanks, after Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.[88]


LSE has university-wide partnerships in teaching and research with Columbia University in New York, Tsinghua, Peking University and Sciences Po Paris, with whom it offers various joint degrees.[89] For example, the International History department offers a joint MA in International and World History with Columbia University and an MSc in International Affairs with Peking University, with graduates earning degrees from both institutions.[90] LSE also offers various joint degrees with other universities. It offers the TRIUM Global Executive MBA programme[91] jointly with Stern School of Business of New York University and HEC School of Management, Paris. It is divided into six modules held in five international business locations over a 16-month period. LSE also offers a Dual Master of Public Administration (MPA) with Global Public Policy Network schools such as Sciences Po Paris, the Hertie School of Governance and National University of Singapore. The school also runs exchange programmes with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Fuqua School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, Stern School of Business and Yale School of Management as part of its MSc in International Management and an undergraduate student exchange programme with the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science.[92] It is however distincly not part of the European Union-wide Erasmus Programme.

The School has formed formal academic agreements with five international universities – Columbia University (New York City), Sciences Po (Paris), the University of Cape Town, Peking University (Beijing) and the National University of Singapore, in addition to numerous research agreements with Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Chicago, NYU, Imperial College and the University of California.

Libraries and archives[edit]

The interior of the main LSE library, designed by Norman Foster

The main library of LSE is the British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES), located in the Lionel Robbins Building.

It is the home of the world's largest social and political sciences library.[citation needed] Founded in 1896, it is also the national social science library of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and all its collections have been recognised for their outstanding national and international importance and awarded 'Designation' status by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

BLPES responds to around 7,500 visits from students and staff each day. In addition, it provides a specialist international research collection, serving over 12,000 registered external users each year.

The Shaw Library, housed in an impressive room in the Old Building contains the university's collection of fiction and general readings for leisure and entertainment. The Fabian Window, also located within the library, was unveiled by Tony Blair in 2003.

In 2013, the school purchased the Women's Library, Britain's main library and museum resource on women and the women's movement and a UNESCO classified resource. It will open at the school's main site in summer 2013.

Additionally, students are permitted to use the libraries of any other University of London college, and the extensive facilities at Senate House Library, situated in Russell Square.

LSE Summer School[edit]

The LSE Summer School was established in 1989 and has expanded extensively with more than 4,400 participants in 2011. The Summer School offers over 60 courses, from the Accounting & Finance, Economics, English Language, Law, International Relations, Government & Society and Management departments, and takes place over two sessions of three weeks, in July and August each year. LSE also offers LSE-PKU Summer School in collaboration with Peking University. Courses from both summer schools can be used as credit against other qualifications. In 2011 the Summer School accepted students from over 115 countries, from some of the top colleges and universities in the world, as well as professionals from several national banks and major financial institutions. As well as the courses, accommodation in LSE halls of residence is available, and the Summer School provides a full social programme including guest lectures and receptions.[93]

Public lectures[edit]

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev addressing students and staff at LSE on 2 April 2009.

LSE is famous for its programme of public lectures.[citation needed] These lectures, organised by the LSE Events office, are open to students, alumni and the general public. As well as leading academics and commentators, speakers frequently include prominent national and international figures such as ambassadors, CEOs, Members of Parliament, and heads of state.

Recent speakers at the LSE have included Kofi Annan, Ben Bernanke, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Noam Chomsky, Bill Clinton, Niall Ferguson, Joschka Fischer, Vicente Fox, Milton Friedman, Muammar Gaddafi, John Lewis Gaddis, Alan Greenspan, Tenzin Gyatso, Paul Krugman, Jens Lehmann, Lee Hsien Loong, John Major, Nelson Mandela, Dmitri Medvedev, John Atta Mills, Mario Monti, George Osborne, Robert Peston, Sebastián Piñera, Kevin Rudd, Jeffrey Sachs, Gerhard Schroeder, Carlos D. Mesa, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Costas Simitis, George Soros, Lord Stern, Aung San Suu Kyi, Baroness Thatcher and Rowan Williams.

LSE has also introduced LSE Live, which is a series of public lectures that are broadcast live over the internet, as well as being open to LSE community, and occasionally to the general public. Introduced in 2008, the series has seen many prominent speakers such as George Soros, Thomas L. Friedman, Fareed Zakaria and Ben Bernanke, who was then chairman of the Federal Reserve System of the United States.[94] In addition LSE, hosts several business and political conferences, with prestigious speakers such as the LSE Alternative Investment Conference.

iXXi Briefings[edit]

The iXXi Briefings are private discussions which are attended by 40 experts from within LSE and elsewhere and are chaired by Lord Desai. At the briefings speakers talk for 15 minutes before discussion is opened to all attendees. iXXi briefings provide an opportunity to for the LSE to exhibit its resources and engage with experts and prominent figures. The iXXi Briefings are run by LSE Enterprise.[95]

Rankings and reputation[edit]

(2013/14, world)
(2013/14, world)
THE (reputation)[98]
(2014, world)
(2014, national)
The Guardian[100]
(2014, national)
Times/Sunday Times[101]
(2014, national)

LSE ranked 3rd overall in the Sunday Times University Guide cumulative ranking over a ten-year period (1997–2007),[102] and ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2014.[103] A number of departments also ranked among the top three in subject rankings, including but not limited to Law (2nd), Philosophy (2nd), Economics (2nd), Accounting and Finance (2nd), History (3rd) and Geography (2nd). Its Department of International Relations has also been ranked amongst the top ten in the world in recent years, and second only to Harvard in 2013 according to THE-QS World University Rankings, making it the best such department in Europe.[104]

In the THE-QS World University Rankings, the School was ranked 11th in the world in 2004 and 2005, but dropped to 66th and 67th in the 2008 and 2009 edition. The school administration asserts that the fall was due to a controversial change in methodology which hindered social science institutions.[105] In January 2010, THE concluded that their existing methodology system with Quacquarelli Symonds was flawed in such a way that it was unfairly biased against certain schools, including LSE.[106] A representative of Thomson Reuters, THE's new partner, commented on the controversy: "LSE stood at only 67th in the last Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings – some mistake surely? Yes, and quite a big one."[106]

Nevertheless, the school was the only one of its type to finish in the top 200 universities, and was thus stated to be the best "medium sized specialised research university" in the world. LSE is ranked 25th globally for Reputation[107] and often scores well in the social science specific section of the ranking. The 2014 QS World University Rankings by Subject rank LSE 3rd in the world in Economics and Econometrics,[108] 3rd in Politics and International Studies,[109] 5th in Sociology,[110] and 7th in Law.[111]

The Fulbright Commission has stated that LSE is "the world’s leading dedicated social science institution".[112]

Student life[edit]

LSE students revising in Lincoln's Inn Fields

Student body[edit]

In the 2011–12 academic year there were 9,300 full-time students and around 700 part-time students at the school. Of these, approximately two-thirds came from outside the United Kingdom. LSE has a highly international student body, with over 145 countries represented.[113]

Over half of LSE's students are postgraduates,[114] an unusually high proportion in comparison with other British institutions.[citation needed] There is approximately an equal split between genders with 51% male and 49% female students.[114]

Students' Union[edit]

Main article: LSE Students' Union
The logo of LSE Students' Union

LSE has its own students' union (LSESU), which is affiliated to the National Union of Students and the National Postgraduate Committee, as well as to the University of London Union. The students' union is often regarded as the most politically active in Britain – a reputation it has held since the well documented LSE student riots in 1966–67 and 1968–69,[115][116] which made international headlines.

In 2013, LSESU moved into a purpose-built new building on the Aldwych campus,[117] having moved out of its former East Building and Clare Market sites.

The Union is responsible for the organisation and undertaking of entertainment events and student societies, as well as student welfare and issues regarding accommodation and other matters. As of 2013, there are over 200 societies, 40 sports clubs, a Raising and Giving (RAG) branch and a thriving media group.

The Media Group is a collective of four distinct outlets, each with their own history and identity. A weekly student newspaper The Beaver, is published each Tuesday during term time and is amongst the oldest student newspapers in the country. The Union's radio station Pulse! has existed since 1999, and the television station LooSE Television has existed since 2005. The Clare Market Review one of Britain's oldest student publications was revived in 2008 and has gone on to win many national awards. Students also get access to London Student, which is published by the University of London Union.

In various forms, RAG Week has been operating since 1980, when it was started by then Student Union Entertainments Officer and now New Zealand MP Tim Barnett.

Affiliated with LSESU, LSE Athletics Union is the body responsible for all sporting activity within the university. It is a member of British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS). In distinction to the "blues" awarded for sporting excellence at Oxford and Cambridge, LSE's outstanding athletes are awarded "purples".

Student housing[edit]

Northumberland House

There are 12 LSE halls of residence in and around central London, of which 10 are owned and operated by LSE and one is operated by Shaftesbury Student Housing. Together, these residences accommodate over 3,500 students.[118] In addition, there are also eight intercollegiate halls shared with other constituent colleges of the University of London, which accommodate approximately 25% of LSE's first-year undergraduate students.

The School guarantees accommodation for all first-year undergraduate students, regardless of their present address. Many of the school's larger postgraduate population are also catered for, with some specific residences available for postgraduate living. Whilst none of the residences are located at the Houghton Street campus, the closest, Grosvenor House is within a five-minute walk from the school in Covent Garden, whilst the farthest residences (Nutford and Butler's Wharf) are approximately forty-five minutes by Tube or Bus.

Each residence accommodates a mixture of students both domestic and foreign, male and female, and, usually, undergraduate and postgraduate. New undergraduate students (including General Course students) occupy approximately 36% of all spaces, with postgraduates taking approximately 56% and continuing students about 8% of places.

Grosvenor House Studios

The largest LSE student residence, Bankside, opened in 1996 and accommodates 617 students across eight floors overlooking the River Thames and located behind the popular Tate Modern art gallery on the south bank of the River. The second-largest residence is based in High Holborn, was opened in 1995 and is approximately 10 minutes walk from the main campus. Other accommodation is located well for London's attractions and facilities – Butler's Wharf is situated next to Tower Bridge, Rosebery Hall is located in the London Borough of Islington close to Sadler's Wells, and Carr-Saunders Hall, named after LSE professor is approximately 5 minutes from Telecom Tower in the heart of Fitzrovia.

Since 2005, the school has opened three new residences to provide accommodation for all first-year students. Lilian Knowles, independently operated in Spitalfields, is home for approximately 360 students and opened in 2006. It is located in a converted Victorian night refuge; the remnants of which can still be seen on the outside facade. It is a common stop on Jack the Ripper tours as one of his victims is commonly believed to have been a one-time resident. Planning permission was sought to convert Northumberland House, on Northumberland Avenue into a new residence on 2 June 2005, and the accommodation opened to students in October 2006.

The newest accommodation development is Northumberland House, a Grade II listed building, located between the Strand and Thames Embankment. It was formerly a Victorian grand hotel and lately government offices.

The closest residence to the Houghton Street campus is reserved for postgraduate students and is located on the eastern side of Drury Lane at the crossroads of Great Queen Street and Long Acre. Grosvenor House, converted from a Victorian office building, opened in September 2005. The residence is unique in that all of its 169 rooms are small, self-contained studios, with private toilet and shower facilities and a mini-kitchen.

There are also eight intercollegiate halls and some students are selected to live in International Students House, London.

Notable people[edit]

LSE has a long list of notable alumni and staff, spanning the fields of scholarship covered by the school. Among them are eighteen Nobel Prize winners[citation needed] in Economics, Peace and Literature. The school has over 50 fellows of the British Academy on its staff, while other notable former staff members include Brian Barry, Maurice Cranston, Anthony Giddens, Mick Jagger, Harold Laski, Ralph Miliband, Michael Oakeshott, A. W. Philips, Karl Popper, Lionel Robbins, Susan Strange, and Charles Webster. Former British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee taught at the school from 1912 to 1923.[citation needed] Mervyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England, is also a former professor of economics.[citation needed]

In the political arena, as of February 2009, around 45 past or present heads of state have studied or taught at LSE, and 28 members of the current British House of Commons and 46 members of the current House of Lords have either studied or taught at the school.[citation needed] In recent British politics, former LSE students include Virginia Bottomley, Yvette Cooper, Edwina Currie, Frank Dobson, Margaret Hodge and current UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. Internationally, US President John F Kennedy, Brazilian defense minister Celso Amorim, Costa Rican President Óscar Arias, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, 'Father of the Indian Constitution' B. R. Ambedkar, President of India K. R. Narayanan and Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi all studied at LSE[citation needed]. A notable number of LSE students have also played a role in the Obama administration including; Pete Rouse, Peter R. Orszag, Mona Sutphen, Paul Volcker and Jason Furman.[119]

Businesspeople who studied at LSE include Tony Fernandes, Daniel Akerson, Delphine Arnault, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Spiros Latsis, David Rockefeller, Maurice Saatchi, George Soros, Robin Chater and Michael S. Jeffries.

Nobel Laureates associated with the London School of Economics[citation needed]
1925George Bernard ShawLiterature
1950Ralph BunchePeace
1950Bertrand RussellLiterature
1959Philip Noel-BakerPeace
1972Sir John HicksEconomics
1974Friedrich HayekEconomics
1977James MeadeEconomics
1979Sir William Arthur LewisEconomics
1987Óscar AriasPeace
1990Merton MillerEconomics
1991Ronald CoaseEconomics
1998Amartya SenEconomics
1999Robert MundellEconomics
2001George AkerlofEconomics
2003Robert F. Engle IIIEconomics
2007Leonid HurwiczEconomics
2008Paul KrugmanEconomics
2010Christopher A. PissaridesEconomics
Pulitzer Prize winners associated with the London School of Economics
1968Nick KotzPulitzer Prize for National Reporting
1990David A. VisePulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism
1994David Levering LewisPulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
2000John BersiaPulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing
2001David Levering LewisPulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
2013Bret StephensPulitzer Prize for Commentary


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]