London School of Economics
Coat of arms of the LSE
|Motto||Latin: Rerum cognoscere causas|
Motto in English
|"To Know the Causes of Things"|
|Chairman||Rt Hon Lord Myners CBE|
|Chancellor||HRH The Princess Royal (University of London)|
|Visitor||The Rt Hon Chris Grayling
As Lord President of the Council ex officio
|Location||London, United Kingdom
|Colours||Purple, black and gold
|Affiliations||ACU, APSIA, CEMS, EUA, G5, Russell Group, University of London, Universities UK, Golden triangle|
The London School of Economics and Political Science (commonly referred to as the London School of Economics or LSE) is a public research university located in London, England which specialises in social sciences, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. LSE is considered to be one of the most prestigious and selective universities in the world.
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. Despite its name, LSE conducts teaching and research across a range of social sciences, as well as in mathematics, statistics, media, philosophy and history.
LSE is located in Westminster, central London, near the boundary between Covent Garden and Holborn. The area is historically known as Clare Market. It has around 9,500 full-time students and just over 3,000 staff and had a total income of £263.2 million in 2012/13, of which £23.7 million was from research grants. The School is organised into 24 academic departments and 20 research centres.
LSE is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the world. In 2015, the LSE has been placed by QS World University Rankings as one of the top ten universities in 11 of 13 evaluated subjects, and as one of the top five in eight of them. According to the Research Excellence Framework 2014, government's method of assessing higher education in the UK, the School has the highest proportion of world-leading research among all British universities.
The School has produced many notable alumni in the fields of law, economics, philosophy, history, business, literature, media and politics. Around 45 past or present presidents and prime ministers 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. To date, 26% (or 12 out of 46) of all the Nobel Prizes in Economics have been awarded to LSE alumni and current and former staff. Out of all European universities, LSE has educated the most billionaires according to a 2014 global census of dollar billionaires. Notable businesspeople who studied at LSE include George Soros and David Rockefeller.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus and estate
- 3 Organisation and administration
- 4 Academic profile
- 5 Student life
- 6 Notable people
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
The London School of Economics was founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, initially funded by a bequest of £20,000 from the estate of Henry Hunt Hutchinson. Hutchinson, a lawyer and member of the Fabian Society, left the money in trust, to be put "towards advancing its [The Fabian Society's] objects in any way they [the trustees] deem advisable". The five trustees were Sidney Webb, Edward Pease, Constance Hutchinson, William de Mattos and William Clark.
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. The proposal was accepted by the trustees in February 1895 and LSE held its first classes in October of that year, in rooms at 9 John Street, Adelphi, in the City of Westminster.
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. 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; 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.
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.
The School's arms, including its motto and beaver mascot, were adopted in February 1922, on the recommendation of a committee of twelve, including eight students, which was established to research the matter. The Latin motto, "Rerum cognoscere causas", is taken from Virgil's Georgics. Its English translation is "to Know the Causes of Things" and it was suggested by Professor Edwin Cannan. The beaver mascot was selected for its associations with "foresight, constructiveness and industrious behaviour".
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.
Commenting in 2001 on the rising status of the LSE, the British magazine "The Economist" stated that "two decades ago the LSE was still the poor relation of the University of London's other colleges. Now... it regularly follows Oxford and Cambridge in league tables of research output and teaching quality and is at least as well-known abroad as Oxbridge". According to the magazine, the School "owes its success to the single-minded, American-style exploitation of its brand name and political connections by the recent directors, particularly Mr Giddens and his predecessor, John Ashworth", and raises money from foreigner students' high fees, which are attracted by academic stars such as Richard Sennett.
Recently, the School has been active in opposing British government proposals to introduce compulsory ID cards, researching into the associated costs of the scheme, and shifting public and government opinion on the issue. 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.
2010 to present
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, Independent Police Commission, Migration Advisory Committee, UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, London Finance Commission, HS2 Limited, and advising on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics
It has ranked in the top four best global universities according to employers for the past five years. The vast majority[by whom?] 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. 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. 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).
Craig Calhoun took up the post of Director in September 2012. Its previous Director, 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). 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.
In March 2011, Howard Davies resigned over allegations about the institution's links to the Libyan regime. 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.
In August 2015, it was revealed that the university was payed approximately £40,000 for a "glowing report" for Camila Batmanghelidjh's scandal-hit charity, Kids Company. The study was used by Batmanghelidjh to prove that the charity provided good value for money and was well managed. However, the university did not disclose that the study was funded by the charity and claims made by the report have since been discredited.
Campus and estate
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.
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, Blue Rain 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.
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.
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 for more than 40 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. 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. In May 2014 the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre won the RIBA London Building of the Year Award.
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. 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.
Location and transport
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
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|1903–1908||Sir Halford Mackinder|
|1908–1919||The Hon. William Pember Reeves|
|1937–1957||Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders|
|1957–1967||Sir Sydney Caine|
|1967–1974||Sir Walter Adams|
|1984–1990||Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel|
|1990–1996||Sir John Ashworth|
|2003–2011||Sir Howard Davies|
|2011–2012||Dame Judith Rees|
|2012 –||Craig Calhoun|
In the financial year ended 31 July 2013, LSE had a total income of £263.2 million (2011/12 – £243.7 million) and total expenditure of £232.6 million (2011/12 – £219 million). Key sources of income included £139.8 million from tuition fees (2011/12 – £126.7 million), £26.6 million from Funding Council grants (2011/12 – £28 million), £23.7 million from research grants (2011/12 – £22.7 million) and £7.7 million from endowment and investment income (2011/12 – £6 million). During the 2012/13 financial year LSE had a capital expenditure of £33 million.
Institutions with permission to teach the diploma
There are various institutions throughout the world that have been awarded permission to teach the Diploma in Economics and Social Sciences by LSE. LSE has also allowed them to use the LSE Logo on their advertising and promotional material. Some of these institutions are given below:
- Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, Egypt
- DEI Bachelor and Master's degrees, Greece
- Russell Square International College, India
- Stansfield School of Business, India
- Indian School of Business & Finance, India
- Alta Vista College, Pakistan
- Roots College International, Pakistan
- University College Lahore, Pakistan
- Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore
- Stansfield College, Singapore
- Royal Institute of Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey
- International Institute of Technology & Management, Dubai
Admission to LSE is highly competitive: in 2014, the school received around 17,000 applications for 1,500 undergraduate places. This means that there were approximately 11.3 applicants per place, with UCAS permitting undergraduate applicants to apply to no more than five institutions, making LSE an institution with one of the lowest admissions rates in the world. 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. The applications success rate for postgraduate programmes varies, although most of the major courses, including Economics, Management 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%.
Programmes and degrees
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, 4 BA programmes (including International History and Geography), and 35 PhD programmes. 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. Courses are split across more than thirty research centres and nineteen departments, plus a Language Centre. 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 first by the Financial Times in 2014 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 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.
LSE does not award annual honorary degrees in common with other universities. In its 113-year history, the school has awarded only 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. 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. 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. According to these RAE results, LSE is the UK's top research university in Anthropology, Economics, Law, Social Policy and European Studies.
Centres and think tanks
The School houses a number of notable centres and think tanks, including LSE IDEAS, the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE Health and Social Care, 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.
In February 2015, Angelina Jolie and William Hague launched the UK's first academic Centre on Women, Peace and Security, based at the School. The Centre aims to contribute to global women's rights issues, including the prosecution of war rape and women's engagement in politics, through academic research, a post-graduate teaching program, public engagement, and collaboration with international organisations.
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. 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. LSE also offers various joint degrees with other universities. It offers the TRIUM Global Executive MBA programme 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. 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.
LSE is a member of: the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, the European University Association, the G5, the Global Alliance in Management Education, the Russell Group and Universities UK, the 'Golden Triangle' of British universities
Libraries and archives
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. The Digital Library contains digitised material from LSE Library collections and also born-digital material that has been collected and preserved in digital formats.
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, 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 opened within the main library during summer 2013.
Several subject specific libraries also exist including the Seligman Library for Anthropology, the Himmelweit Library for Social Psychology, the Leverhulme Library for Statistics, the Robert McKenzie library for Sociology, the Michael Wise Library for Geography and the Gender Institute Library.
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.
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, Kaberi Gain, 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. In addition LSE, hosts several business and political conferences, with prestigious speakers such as the LSE Alternative Investment Conference.
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.
Rankings and reputation
Given its historical prestige, size and institutional design, LSE is quite well ranked by subject-focused methodologies that take into account excellence in research and reputation among academics and employers (such as REF 2014 and the QS Rankings by Subjects). However, methodologies which compare the School with large universities with strong STEM programs or consider whether students are satisfied with teaching or feedback as a main variable tend to hinder LSE performance.
LSE ranked 3rd overall in the Sunday Times University Guide cumulative ranking over a ten-year period (1997–2007), and ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2014. A number of departments also ranked among the top three in subject rankings, including but not limited to Law (2nd), Philosophy (2nd), Economics (2nd), Social Policy (1st), 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.
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. 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. 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." Nonetheless, after the change of data provider to Thomson Reuters the following year, LSE fell even further to 86th place, with the ranking described by a representative of Thomson Reuters as 'a fair reflection of their status as a world class university'. LSE has continued to attain these lower rankings (reaching 69th in 2013/14), which place it behind eleven other British universities, with this being described as a 'pleasing improvement' by LSE. In the (now separated from QS) THE 2014 ranking the school climbed up to 32nd in the world.
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 22nd globally for Reputation and often scores very highly in the social science specific section of the ranking.
According to Wealth-X and UBS's "Billionaire Census", London School of Economics (LSE) ranked 10th among the list of top 20 schools that have produced the most billionaire alumni. The LSE was the only UK university to make the list.
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.
Over half of LSE's students are postgraduates, 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.
LSE has its own students' union (LSESU), which is affiliated to the National Union of Students and the National Postgraduate Committee. 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, which made international headlines.
In 2013, LSESU moved into a purpose-built new building on the Aldwych campus, 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.
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".
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. 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.
John F. Kennedy enrolled at the LSE in 1935
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 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, Harold Laski, Ralph Miliband, Michael Oakeshott, A. W. Philips, Karl Popper, Lionel Robbins, Susan Strange, Bob Ward and Charles Webster. Former British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee taught at the school from 1912 to 1923. Mervyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England, is also a former professor of economics.
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 former UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. Internationally, US President John F Kennedy, Brazilian defence minister Celso Amorim, Costa Rican President Óscar Arias, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, 'Architect of the Indian Constitution' & eminent economist B. R. Ambedkar, President of India K. R. Narayanan, Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, French Foreign Minister and President of the Constitutional Council Roland Dumas as well as Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Tharman Shanmugaratnam all studied at LSE. A notable number of LSE students have also played a role in the Barack Obama administration including; Pete Rouse, Peter R. Orszag, Mona Sutphen, Paul Volcker and Jason Furman. Vanessa Kerry and American journalist Susan Rasky are also alumnae of the LSE.
Business people who studied at LSE include Tony Fernandes, Daniel Akerson, Delphine Arnault, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Spiros Latsis, David Rockefeller, Maurice Saatchi, hedge fund managers George Soros and Michael Platt (finance), and Michael S. Jeffries.
- Nobel Laureates associated with the London School of Economics
|1925||George Bernard Shaw||Literature|
|1972||Sir John Hicks||Economics|
|1979||Sir William Arthur Lewis||Economics|
|2003||Robert F. Engle III||Economics|
|2010||Christopher A. Pissarides||Economics|
- Pulitzer Prize winners associated with the London School of Economics
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