World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

London School of Economics and Political Science

Article Id: WHEBN0014243007
Reproduction Date:

Title: London School of Economics and Political Science  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: George Bernard Shaw, Proportional representation, 1895, List of business schools in Europe, Russo-Japanese War, University of London, Aldwych Group, Beatrice Webb, William Beveridge, Frutiger
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

London School of Economics and Political Science

London School of Economics and Political Science
Coat of Arms of the LSE
Motto Latin: Rerum cognoscere causas
Motto in English "To Understand the Causes of Things"
Established 1895
Type Public
Endowment £83.2m[1]
Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal (University of London)
Director Craig Calhoun
Visitor The Rt Hon Nick Clegg
As Lord President of the Council ex officio
Academic staff 1,303
Students 8,810[2]
Undergraduates 3,860[2]
Postgraduates 4,950[2]

London, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°30′50″N 0°07′00″W / 51.51389°N 0.11667°W / 51.51389; -0.11667

Campus Urban
Newspaper The Beaver
Colours Purple, black and gold[3]
Mascot Beaver
Affiliations ACU, APSIA, CEMS, EUA, G5, Russell Group, University of London, Universities UK, Golden triangle

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 and George Bernard Shaw, the LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and first issued degrees to its students in 1902.[4] Despite its name, the LSE conducts teaching and research across a range of social sciences, as well as in mathematics and statistics.[5]

The 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 9,000 full-time students[6] and 1,300 academic staff[7] and had a total income of £220.9 million in 2009/10, of which £23.9 million was from research grants and contracts.[8] The LSE is organised into 23 academic departments and 19 research centres.[9][10] The LSE's library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, contains over 4.7 million volumes and is the world's largest social and political sciences library.

The LSE is among the world's most selective universities and in a number of years has had the lowest admissions rate of any British university.[11][12] The LSE is ranked 3rd overall in the Sunday Times University Guide cumulative ranking of British universities over a ten-year period (1997–2007),[13] and 2nd in the Complete University Guide 2012.[14] LSE graduates demand the highest full-time, starting salaries of any UK graduates, 6 months after graduation, earning on average £ 27,388 (around $ 44,500) in 2013.[15] The LSE also ranks in the top five universities in the world in terms of employer reputation perception.[16]

The LSE has produced many notable alumni in the fields of law, economics, philosophy, business, literature and politics. To date, there have been 18 Nobel Prize winners amongst its alumni and current and former staff,[17] more than 50 world leaders and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners and fellows of the British Academy.[18]

The LSE is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs,[19] the European University Association,[20] the G5, the Global Alliance in Management Education, the Russell Group and Universities UK.[21] It forms part of the 'golden triangle' of British universities.



The London School of Economics was founded in 1895[22] by Beatrice and Sidney Webb,[23] initially funded by a bequest of £20,000[24][25] from the estate of Henry Hunt Hutchinson. Hutchinson, a lawyer[24] and member of the Fabian Society,[26][27] left the money in trust, to be put "towards advancing its [The Fabian Society's] objects in any way they [the trustees] deem advisable".[27] The five trustees were Sidney Webb, Edward Pease, Constance Hutchinson, William de Mattos and William Clark.[24]

The 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.[22] The proposal was accepted by the trustees in February 1895[27] and LSE held its first classes in October of that year, in rooms at 9 John Street, Adelphi,[28] in the City of Westminster.

20th century

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.[28] 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;[22] the building was opened in 1922.

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.

The LSE's Robbins and Hayek, and Cambridge's 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.[29]

The school's arms,[30] including its motto and beaver mascot, were adopted in February 1922,[31] on the recommendation of a committee of twelve, including eight students, which was established to research the matter.[32] The latin motto, "Rerum cognoscere causas", is taken from Virgil's Georgics. Its English translation is "to Know the Causes of Things"[31] and it was suggested by Professor Edwin Cannan.[22] The beaver mascot was selected for its associations with "foresight, constructiveness and industrious behaviour".[32]

21st century

The LSE continues to have an effect 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.[33]

Recently, the school has been active in opposing British government proposals to introduce compulsory ID cards,[34][35] researching into the associated costs of the scheme, and shifting public and government opinion on the issue.[36] 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.[37][38]

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.[39]

LSE is heavily targeted by employers and graduates are in great demand despite the current economic climate. The vast majority of LSE students are engaged in employment or further study within 6 months of graduating and the School is listed first for employability in the 2012 Sunday Times Good University Guide.[40] The most common sectors for LSE graduates to work in within 6 months of graduating are banking, finance and accountancy; development, NGOs and international organisations; Consultancy; Education; and central and local government.[41] In addition, the average starting salary of graduates who have completed undergraduate degrees with LSE is significantly higher than the overall national average salary of £26,200, at over £30,000.

Over the years the School has continued to expand around Houghton Street. 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. This has been redeveloped by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw into an ultra-modern educational building, known as the "New Academic Building" at a total cost of over £45 million, and has increased the campus space 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.[42]

The School has an ongoing capital investment project and has recently purchased a number of sites to add to its portfolio. In November 2009, LSE purchased the freehold of both Sardinia House, overlooking Lincoln's Inn Fields, and the Ye Old White Horse public house. In October 2010 it was announced the university had been successful in acquiring the freehold of the grade-II listed Land Registry Building (32 Lincoln's Inn Fields), which opened in March 2013 as the new home of the School's Department of Economics and its associated research centres. It is currently in the middle of a £30m project to open the new Saw Swee Hock Students' Centre on the Aldwych campus in summer 2013. This building will provide new accommodation for the Students' Union, accommodation office, careers service, gymnasium, bars and club.[43] In November 2011, the New Students' Centre was recognised a low environmental impact building, receiving 'Outstanding' status under BREEAM, and in 2012 was one of three winners of the New London Award (NLA) in the Education category.[44][45] A redvevelopment of the central site on Houghton Street will follow.

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).[46] 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.[47]

In March 2011, Howard Davies resigned over allegations about the institution's links to the Libyan regime.[48] 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.[48]


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 stone of the Old Building, the principal building of LSE. The School has gradually increased its ownership of adjacent buildings, creating an almost continuous campus between Kingsway and the Royal Courts of Justice. Today, the campus consists of approximately thirty buildings, connections between which have been established on an ad-hoc basis, with often confusing results. The floor levels of buildings do not always equate, leading to an individual being on a different "floor" after passing through a hallway. The campus also has a series of extension bridges between buildings created high on the upper floors to connect several buildings. The school is also noted by its numerous statues, either animals or surrealist, often donated by alumni.

The LSE's campus went through a renewal under former Director Anthony Giddens (1996–2003), with the redevelopment of Connaught and Clement Houses on the Aldwych, and the purchase of buildings including the George IV public house, which had been nestled amongst the campus for decades, but is now owned by LSE. Recent projects have included the £35 million renovation of the Lionel Robbins Building, which houses the British Library of Political and Economic Science, LSE's Library and a brand new Student Services Centre in the Old Building as well as LSE Garrick on the junction of Houghton Street and Aldwych. In 2009, the School purchased Sardinia House on Lincoln's Inn Fields and the Ye Olde White Horse public house, adjacent to Parish Hall, as new additions to the estate. Since 2010, LSE has also leased premises behind the Library in New Court. There is both a medical centre and a dentist on campus.[49]

The New Academic Building (the former Public Trust Building on Kingsway), is one of the most environmentally friendly university buildings in the UK. With an entrance overlooking Lincoln's Fields, the new building has dramatically increased the size of the campus, incorporating four new lecture theatres, the Departments of Management and Law, computer and study facilities.[42]

The British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES) is the current operating Library of LSE. It is the home of the world's largest social and political sciences Library, containing over 4.7 million volumes on its shelves. This also makes it the second largest single entity library in Britain, after the British Library at King's Cross.[50] There is also the smaller Shaw Library, on the top floor of the Old Building, which hosts the Fabian Window and as well as concerts and events. Other buildings of note include the Peacock Theatre, the School's main lecture theatre, seating 999 persons, which by night serves as the West End base of Sadler's Wells. The venue is a member of the Society of London Theatre, and has hosted many dance, musical and dramatic productions, as well as serving as the base for many of LSE' public lectures and discussions.

Location and transport

The 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 all stop a short distance from the School.

Organisation and administration


The 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.[51] 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.[51]

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.[51]

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.[51]

The Academic Board is the 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.[51]


The Director is the head of the 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.

Years Director'
1895–1903 William Hewins
1903–1908 Sir Halford Mackinder
1908–1919 The Hon. William Pember Reeves
1919–1937 Lord Beveridge
1937–1957 Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders
1957–1967 Sir Sydney Caine
1967–1974 Sir Walter Adams
1974–1984 Lord Dahrendorf
1984–1990 Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel
1990–1996 Sir John Ashworth
1996–2003 Lord Giddens
2003–2011 Sir Howard Davies
2011–2012 Dame 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).[51] 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).[51] During the 2010/11 financial year LSE had a capital expenditure of £47.0 million (2009/10 – £10.6 million).[51]

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).[51]

Academic profile


Admission to the LSE is highly competitive. In 2011, the school received 17,654 applications for 1,271 undergraduate places.[52] This means that there were 13.8 applicants per place. Most programmes give out typical offers of A*AA-ABB at A-Level, with new undergraduates in 2011 arriving with an average of 512 UCAS points (equivalent to over AAAA at A-level).

Entrance standards are also high for postgraduate students, who are required to have (for taught Master's courses) a First Class or Upper Second Class UK honours degree, or its foreign equivalent.[53] 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%. Some of the very top premium programmes such as the MSc Finance and the MSc Financial Mathematics have admission rates below 5%.[54][55]

Programmes and degrees

The LSE is dedicated solely to the study and research of social sciences, and is the only university in the United Kingdom 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).[56] 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.[57] Courses are split across more than thirty research centres and nineteen departments, plus a Language Centre.[58] 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 the LSE also offers an executive global MBA called TRIUM. This is currently globally ranked 2nd 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.

The 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.[59] 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.[60] 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.[61][62][63] According to these RAE results, LSE is the UK's top research university in Anthropology, Economics, Law, Social Policy and European Studies.[64][65]


LSE IDEAS is a research centre for the study of international affairs, diplomacy and grand strategy at the LSE. It was founded by Prof Michael Cox and Prof Arne Westad in 2008.[66] Its pre-cursor was the Cold War Studies Centre (CWSC), also co-founded by Prof Cox and Prof Westad. In a global survey, the center has been ranked as world's fourth-best university think tank, after Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and the Center for International Development, again at Harvard.[67]


The LSE has university-wide partnerships in teaching and research with 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 UC Berkeley.

Libraries and archives

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. 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 is also located within the library, having been 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

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.[72]

Public lectures

LSE is famous for its programme of public lectures. 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.

The 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, chairman of the Federal Reserve System of the United States.[73] In addition LSE, hosts several business and political conferences, with prestigious speakers such as the LSE Alternative Investment Conference.

iXXi Briefings

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.[74]

Rankings and reputation

The Fulbright Commission has stated that the LSE is "the leading social science institution in the world".[75]

(2013, world)
(2013/14, world)
(2013/14, world)
(2014, national)
The Guardian[80]
(2014, national)
Times/Sunday Times[81]
(2014, national)

LSE ranked 3rd overall in the Sunday Times University Guide cumulative ranking over a ten-year period (1997–2007),[13] and ranked 2nd in the Complete University Guide 2012.[14] A number of departments also ranked among the top three in subject rankings, including but not limited to Law (1st), Social Policy (1st), Philosophy (2nd), Economics (3rd), Sociology (2nd), Accounting and Finance (3rd), History (3rd), Geography (3rd).

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.[82] 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.[83] 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."[83]

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[84] and often scores well in the social science specific section of the ranking.

Student life

Student body

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.[85]

Over half of LSE's students are postgraduates,[86] an unusually high proportion in comparison with other British institutions. There is approximately an equal split between genders with 51% male and 49% female students.[86]

Students' Union

Main article: 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,[87][88] which made international headlines.

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 2010, 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

There are 11 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.[89] 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.

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

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[90] in Economics, Peace and Literature. The school currently 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, while Ramsay MacDonald frequently gave lectures on behalf of the Fabian Society.[91] Mervyn King, the current Governor of the Bank of England, is also a former professor of economics.[92]

Many alumni of the school are notable figures, especially in the areas of politics, economics and finance. 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. 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, John F Kennedy (former US President), Celso Amorim (former Foreign Minister of Brazil and current Defense Minister of Brazil), Óscar Arias (Costa Rican President), Taro Aso[91] (Prime Minister of Japan), Queen Margrethe II of Denmark,[91] B. R. Ambedkar[91] (Father of Indian Constitution), K. R. Narayanan[91] (Ex-President of India) and Romano Prodi[91] (Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission) all studied at LSE. As of August 2010, the present heads of government and/or state of seven countries studied at the School – Colombia, Denmark, Ghana, Greece, Kenya, Kiribati and Mauritius. In Barack Obama's administration, LSE has more former students than any other university outside the US, with the White House Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Budget Director, and Secretary for Homeland Security, all having studied at the school. In fact, LSE is more represented than Yale, Princeton, Stanford and MIT.[93]

Successful 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[90]
Year Recipient Prize
1925 George Bernard Shaw Literature
1950 Ralph Bunche Peace
1950 Bertrand Russell Literature
1959 Philip Noel-Baker Peace
1972 Sir John Hicks Economics
1974 Friedrich Hayek Economics
1977 James Meade Economics
1979 Sir William Arthur Lewis Economics
1987 Óscar Arias Peace
1990 Merton Miller Economics
1991 Ronald Coase Economics
1998 Amartya Sen Economics
1999 Robert Mundell Economics
2001 George Akerlof Economics
2003 Robert F. Engle III Economics
2007 Leonid Hurwicz Economics
2008 Paul Krugman Economics
2010 Christopher A. Pissarides Economics
Pulitzer Prize winners associated with the London School of Economics
Year Recipient Prize
1968 Nick Kotz Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting
1990 David A. Vise Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism
1994 David Levering Lewis Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
2000 John Bersia Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing
2001 David Levering Lewis Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
2013 Bret Stephens Pulitzer Prize for Commentary

Heads of state and government


State Leader Affiliation Office
Errol Walton Barrow (1920–1987) BSc (Econ) 1950 Prime minister 1962–1966; 1966–1976; 1986–1987
Sergey Stanishev (b. 1966) Visiting Fellow in International Relations 1999–2000 Prime Minister 2005–2009
Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000) Research Fee Student 1947–1948 Prime minister 1968–1979; 1980–1984
Kim Campbell (b. 1947) PhD student 1973 (no degree granted) Prime minister June–November 1993
Jacques Parizeau (b. 1930) PhD student 1955 Premier of Quebec 1994–1995[95]
Alfonso López Pumarejo (1886–1959) Occasional Registration 1932–1933 President 1934–1938, 1942–1945
Juan Manuel Santos (b. 1951) MSc Economics 1975 President 2010–current
Óscar Arias (b. 1941) President 1986–1990 & 2006–2010
HM Queen Margrethe II (b. 1940) Occasional student 1965 Queen 1972–current
Dame Eugenia Charles (1919–2005) LLM 1949 Prime minister 1980–1995
Romano Prodi (b. 1939) Research Fee Student 1962–1963 President of the European Commission 1999–2004;

Italian Prime Minister 1996–1998 & 2006–2008

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara (1920–2004) Diploma Econ & Social Admin 1962 Prime minister 1970–1992; President 1994–2000
Heinrich Brüning (1885–1970) BSc Economics Student 1911–1913 Chancellor 1930–1932
Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972) PhD 1946 First president 1960–1966
Hilla Limann (1934–1998) BSc (Econ) 1960 President 1979–1981
John Atta Mills (1944–2012) LLM 1967–68 President 2009–2012
Joe Bossano (b. 1939) Chief Minister 1988–1996
George Papandreou (b. 1952) MSc Sociology 1977 Prime minister 2009–2011
Constantine Simitis (b. 1936) Research Fee Student 1961–1963 Prime minister 1996–2004
Maurice Bishop (1944–1983) Prime Minister 1979–1983, 1996–2004
Forbes Burnham (1923–1985) LLB 1948 President
KR Narayanan (1921–2005) BSc (Econ) 1945–1948 President 1997–2002
Moshe Sharett (1894–1965) BSc (Econ) 1924 Prime minister 1953–1955
Romano Prodi (b. 1939) Research Fee Student 1962–1963 Prime minister 1996–1998; 2006–2008
Michael Manley (1924–1997) BSc (Econ) 1949 Prime minister 1972–1980; 1989–1992
P J Patterson LLB 1963 Prime minister 1992–2006
Taro Aso (b. 1940) Occasional Student 1966 Prime minister 2008–2009
Jomo Kenyatta (1891–1978) ADA 1936 First president 1964–1978
Mwai Kibaki (b. 1931) BSc Economics 1959 President 2002–2013
Anote Tong (b. 1952) MSc Sea-Use Group 1988 President 2003–
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (b. 1972) MSc Philosophy and Public Policy, PhD Philosophy Acting Prime Minister of Libya
Tuanku Jaafar (b. 1922) Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) 1994–1999
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (1900–1985) Prime Minister 1961–1982
Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo (1920–2000) LLB 1948 First president of Mauritius March–June 1992
Navinchandra Ramgoolam (b. 1947) LLB 1990 Prime minister 1995–2000; 2005–
Sher Bahadur Deuba (b. 1943) Research Student International Relations 1988–1989 Prime minister 1995–1997; 2001–2003; 2004–2005
Harmodio Arias (1886–1962) Occasional Student, 1909–1911 President 1932–1936
Pedro Gerardo Beltran Espanto (1897–1979) BSc (Econ) 1918 Prime minister 1959–1961
Beatriz Merino (b. 1947) LLM 1972 Prime minister 2003
Edward Szczepanik (1915–2005) MSc Economics 1953, PhD Economics 1956 Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile, 1986–1990
Marek Belka (b. 1952) Summer School 1990 Prime minister 2004–05
Jan Vincent Rostowski (b. 1951) MSc Economics 1975 Deputy Prime Minister 2013–
John Compton (b. 1926) LLB 1952 Premier 1964–1979; Prime minister Feb–Jul 1979 & 1982–1996
Banja Tejan-Sie, (1917–2000) Governor-General and leader of opposition Sierra Leone People's Party
Goh Keng Swee (1918–2010) BSc Economics 1951; PhD Economics 1956 Deputy prime minister 1959–84
Tharman Shanmugaratnam (1957–) BSc Economics 1981 Deputy prime minister 2011–
Lee Kuan Yew (b. 1923) Prime Minister 1959–1990
Yu Kuo-Hwa (1914–2000) Composition fee student 1947–1949 Premier 1984–1989
Tsai Ing-wen (b. 1956) PhD Law 1984 Vice-premier 2006–2007
Tanin Kraivixien (b. 1927) LLB 1953 Prime Minister 1976–1977
Sylvanus Olympio (1902–1963) President 1958–1961, first President, 1961–1963
Clement Attlee (1883–1967) Lecturer in social science and administration, 1912–1923 Prime minister, 1945–1951
Jan Kavan (b. 1946) BSc International Relations President of the United Nations General Assembly, 2002–2003
John F Kennedy (1917–1963) General Course student 1935 President 1961–1963

In fiction and popular culture

Notable fictitious alumni include;

  • President Josiah Bartlet from the television series The West Wing
  • Andrew Bond, the father of Ian Fleming's James Bond
  • Jim Hacker, the fictitious Minister and Prime Minister of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister (in which the Prime Minister is regularly derided by his Permanent Secretary for not having attended Oxford or Cambridge)
  • Bertie Ahern, former prime minister of Ireland.
  • The character Alexis Meynell, from the BBC television drama series Spooks which follows the work of a group of MI5 officers working in the organisation's headquarters


Further reading

  • "LSE: A History of the London School of Economics and Political Science, 1895–1995", Oxford University Press, 1 June 1995.
  • "Determined Challengers Keep Heat On The Elite", The Times Higher Education Supplement, 28 October 2005
  • "1969: LSE closes over student clashes", BBC News
  • "IDEAS Research Assessment UK top 20% of Departments & World top 5% of Departments", "IDEAS, University of Connecticut, Top 20% UK institutions"

External links

  • LSE Students' Union
  • LSE student lists
  • LSE military personnel,1914–1918
  • Catalogue of the archives of LSE
  • Memorandum about the School by William Beveridge, 1935
  • Catalogue of School minute books, 1894–
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.