London School of Business and Finance

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London School of Business and Finance
London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) logo.png
TypeFor-profit private business school
Established2003 (2003)
RectorMaurits van Rooijen
Vice-RectorJames Kirkbride

Coordinates: 51°30′31″N 0°04′42″W / 51.5085°N 0.0782°W / 51.5085; -0.0782
OwnerGlobal University Systems

The London School of Business and Finance (informally LSBF) is a for-profit private business school based in the United Kingdom. It is owned by the corporate group Global University Systems. LSBF was founded in 2003 by the entrepreneur Aaron Etingen. By 2015 it had become one of England's largest private colleges.[1] The school is completely separate from and not affiliated with the similarly-named London Business School (LBS, which is the graduate business school of the University of London), the London Institute of Banking & Finance, or the London School of Economics.

The school has its main base in London with sites in Tower Hill and Holborn and has further UK branches in Manchester and Birmingham. It also has an international branch in Singapore. LSBF offers Master's degree programmes in management, finance and marketing; bachelor's degrees; executive and corporate training; and professional qualification training for the ACCA, CFA and CIMA qualifications. LSBF does not have degree-awarding powers of its own.[2] All degrees are awarded by external institutions. As of 2016, its visa sponsor licence has been revoked by the UK government and it cannot offer work placement or long-term courses to non-European Union students.[3]


LSBF's Sceptre Court campus in Tower Hill, London

The London School of Business and Finance was founded in 2003 by the British entrepreneur, Aaron Etingen (also known as Arkady Etingen).[4] He was born in Russia, raised in Israel, and moved to the UK at age 18 to study business and finance. According to 2010 interviews with Etingen in City A.M. and the New York Times, LSBF began in an attic on Hyde Park Corner with "two rooms and four students" taking accounting courses.[5][6] The school gradually expanded its portfolio of programmes over the years. By 2010, it had established two further UK branches in Birmingham and Manchester and was offering MBAs and MScs in finance and marketing and a Masters in international business (all awarded and validated by external institutions), as well as executive and professional training with a strong emphasis on finance.[7]

In March 2010 LSBF launched an MBA (at the time externally validated and awarded by the University of Wales) which it billed as capable of completion in as little as eight weekends via eight intensive core modules delivered on campus and online.[8] In October of that year, LSBF also launched a "Global MBA" on Facebook, with the eight intensive modules broken down into smaller units. Students could take the modules for free, paying only if they chose to take the examinations.[6] LSBF established further UK institutions (collectively known as the LSBF Group) in 2011 and that same year opened branches in Toronto and Singapore.[9][10] The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities issued a restraining order against the Toronto branch in April 2013 ordering it to halt teaching and stop charging for and advertising a number of its vocational programmes, including Higher National Diplomas. A spokesman for LSBF Canada, which at the time (October 2013) was fighting the decision in the Canadian courts, described the restraining order as "unfair" and said that the institution had "always operated lawfully in Ontario".[11] As of 2016, the former official website for the Toronto branch ( carried the name "Innovative Skills Academy" and was labelled "under construction".[12]

According to The Guardian, after the market reforms of post-secondary education introduced by UK higher education minister David Willetts in 2011, LSBF and its subsidiaries experienced rapid expansion. St Patrick's College, London was also describing itself as "a member of the LSBF Group" in 2012 after it was bought by Etingen's company Interactive World Wide Limited.[13][14] Together, LSBF and St Patrick's grew from 50 government-funded students in 2011 to approximately 6,000 over the next two years. In 2013 LSBF and St Patrick's collectively netted £13.5m in tuition fee payments, with their students receiving a total of £49m in government loans and grants.[4] In April 2013, LSBF was one of 116 UK businesses to receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise for achievements in international trade.[15]

Over the years LSBF's degrees have been awarded and validated by a number of UK and European universities. However, by 2014 it had lost all its degree-validating UK university partners, retaining only the European-based Università telematica internazionale Uninettuno and Grenoble Graduate School of Business.[16][17] In June 2014, the UK Home Office suspended LSBF's licence to sponsor non-European Union students for study or work visas, due to "numerous, broader failings" in respect of LSBF's sponsorship duties, an allegation which the LSBF denied.[18] The licence was reinstated on review a few months later, but suspended again in September 2015.[1] The UK Home Office formally revoked LSBF's permission to recruit non-EU students in January 2016. As a result, 350 students were told they had to leave the UK by the end of March 2016. The college said students would be able to complete their courses either by studying a compressed course or transferring to affiliated institutions in France or Spain.[3]

LSBF's parent company Global University Systems acquired London's University of Law in June 2015 and a few months later announced plans for a two-year restructuring process of the LSBF Group set to begin in mid-2016. According to John Cox, director of organisational development at GUS, the plan involves LSBF coming under a new vocational entity offering only diploma courses, short courses and corporate training products. The vocational courses delivered by St Patrick's College and the Birmingham-based Finance Business Training (also owned by GUS) would also come under this division. The University of Law would become sole provider of academic qualifications and professional qualifications, including the master's degrees previously offered by the LSBF Group.[19][20]

Campuses and locations[edit]

Sceptre Court (interior)

LSBF is based in central London with sites in Tower Hill and Holborn. The head office and main campus is at Sceptre Court in Tower Hill. The school has two further branches in the United Kingdom at Manchester and Birmingham as well as an international branch in Singapore. LSBF also offers programmes online through the InterActive e-learning platform.[17]

Organisation and administration[edit]


LSBF and the institutions of the LSBF Group are owned by Global University Systems (GUS), a private limited company registered in The Netherlands.[21] GUS also owns St Patrick's College, London, University Canada West, GISMA Business School in Germany, and London's University of Law as well as the e-learning platform InterActive and several other educational brands.[22]


Maurits van Rooijen was appointed CEO and rector of LSBF in 2012. He also serves as the Chief Academic Officer of Global University Systems. James Kirkbride has been the school's vice-rector since September 2010.[23][24]

LSBF's patron is Prince Michael of Kent.[25]


Vice Rector James Kirkbride at the 2011 Summer graduation ceremony


LSBF does not have degree-awarding powers.[2] All its degree-level programmes are validated and awarded by external institutions. As of 2016 the school offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a range of business and finance subjects, including several MBAs validated and awarded by the Università telematica internazionale UniNettuno. The courses are delivered using a range of full-time and part-time, blended and online modes. It also offers executive and corporate training and preparation for the ACCA, CFA, CIM and CIMA professional qualifications through its Finance Business Training (FBT) division.[17][26] Since November 2016, LSBF has been accredited as a short course provider in executive education by the British Accreditation Council.[27]

QAA assessments[edit]

LSBF and its associated Financial and Business Training division underwent an investigation and subsequent reviews in 2012 by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) amid concerns about student recruitment and completion rates on programmes which at the time were validated by the University of Wales.[28][29][30] The initial investigation made a number of recommendations for improvements including that LSBF draw up and submit an action plan to address the issues identified.[31]

LSBF's most recent assessment by the QAA took place in March 2015 and concluded that:[17]

  • The maintenance of the academic standards of awards offered on behalf of external degree-awarding bodies and other awarding organisations met UK expectations
  • The quality of student learning opportunities did not meet UK expectations for Higher National provision but met UK expectations for all other provision
  • The enhancement of student learning opportunities did not meet UK expectations.
  • The quality of the information about learning opportunities required improvement to meet UK expectations.

External lectures[edit]

Former UK Home Secretary and Education Secretary David Blunkett, has conducted interviews with business and political leaders such as a Richard Branson, Deborah Meaden, Sir John Major, and Tony Blair for LSBF's "Great Minds" video series, which began in 2011. Blunkett has also been a part-time lecturer at LSBF.[32][33][34][35]

In December 2011, Prince Michael of Kent chaired the inaugural "LSBF HRH Prince Michael of Kent Business Lecture" organized in partnership with the Royal Society of Arts. The guest speaker was former Director-General of the CBI and former Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Digby Jones.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Morgan, John (3 September 2015). "LSBF licence to sponsor overseas students suspended". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. London School of Business and Finance London School of Business and Finance. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Burns, Judith (5 February 2016). "Foreign students must leave UK as college loses licence". BBC News. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Malik, Shiv; McGettigan, Andrew; Domokos, John (30 May 2014), "Lecturers claim private college puts profits first". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  5. ^ Huggins, Donata ( 29 October 2010). "A man schooled for big business". City A.M.. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  6. ^ a b Guttenplan, D.D. (28 November 2010). "Poking, Tagging and Now Landing an M.B.A." New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  7. ^ Anderson, Linda (21 June 2010). "Case study: LSBF". Financial Times. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  8. ^ Chynoweth, Carly (3 March 2010). "The MBA that takes only eight weekends". Sunday Times. Retrieved 5 May 2016 (subscription required for full access).
  9. ^ Mclaren, Diana (9 March 2011). "London School of Business and Finance opens Canadian campus". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  10. ^ Lee, Pearl (26 February 2014). "London School of Business and Finance opens new CBD campus". Straits Times. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  11. ^ Matthews, David (31 October 2013). "Private college hit by 'restraining order' and fine". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  12. ^, archived version of 20 March 2016 from For the original version of the site prior to the April 2013 restraining order, see the version of 7 March 2013 archived by
  13. ^ Morgan, John (2 July 2014). "Director of education wins claim against former owner of St Patrick's College for unfair dismissal". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  14. ^ EducationInvestor (8 May 2012). "New partner for LSBF". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  15. ^ The Queen's Awards Office. Press Book: Queen's Award for Enterprise 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  16. ^ Matthews, David (20 February 2014 "UK university partners end ties to LSBF". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. (March 2015). Higher Education Review of London School of Business & Finance".
  18. ^ Parr, Chris (27 June 2014). "Private college singled out by immigration minister hits back". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  19. ^ Morgan, John (2 June 2015). "University of Law sold to Global University Systems". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  20. ^ Custer, Sara (25 September 2015). "Global University Systems to restructure". The Pie (Professionals in International Education). Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  21. ^ Morgan, John (17 April 2014)."Private college goes Dutch but says profits are taxed in UK". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  22. ^ Lyons, Tom (23 December 2013). "Ibat college in deal with private education provider Global University Systems". The Irish Times. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  23. ^ EducationInvestor (11 July 2012). "LSBF appoints new chief executive". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  24. ^ Global University Systems. The Team. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  25. ^ HRH Prince Michael of Kent (official website). Charities & Organisations. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  26. ^ London School of Business and Finance. MBA. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  27. ^ British Accreditation Council. London School of Business & Finance – Executive Education. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  28. ^ Grove Jack (16 August 2012). "Hypnotic suggestion: you must do better". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  29. ^ Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (September 2012). "London School of Business & Finance: Review for Educational Oversight". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  30. ^ Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (November 2012). "Finance and Business Training Ltd: Review for Educational Oversight". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  31. ^ Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (September 2012). "Concerns about standards and quality in higher education: The University of Wales and Finance and Business Training Ltd and the London School of Business and Finance (UK) Ltd". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  32. ^ Marszal, Andrew (3 June 2013). "Sir Richard Branson: I would love to have gone to university". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  33. ^ Gurney-Read, Josie (21 October 2014). "Deborah Meaden: lessons in entrepreneurship have to start early at school". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  34. ^ Davis, Anna (7 July 2014). "John Major: use education to fight poverty". Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  35. ^ Cunnane, Sarah (29 April 2012). "Universities are central to economy, but cannot stand still, Blair says" Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  36. ^ "The Inaugural LSBF HRH Prince Michael of Kent Business Lecture: Fixing Britain". RSA Events. Retrieved 9 May 2016.

External links[edit]