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London School of Economics and Political Science

Seal of the London School of Economics
Motto Latin: Rerum cognoscere causas
Motto in English "To Understand the Causes of Things"
Established 1895
Endowment £56.9m[1]
Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal (University of London)
Director Sir Howard Davies[2]
Visitor The Lord Mandelson
As Lord President of the Council ex officio
Staff 1,303
Students 8,810[3]
Undergraduates 3,860[3]
Postgraduates 4,950[3]
Location London, England, UK
Coordinates: 51°30′50.40″N 0°07′0.12″W / 51.514°N 0.1167°W / 51.514; -0.1167
Campus Urban
Newspaper The Beaver
Colours Purple, Black and Gold[4]
Mascot Beaver
Affiliations University of London
Russell Group
'Golden Triangle'
Universities UK

The London School of Economics and Political Science, commonly referred to as the London School of Economics or LSE, is a specialist constituent college of the University of London in London, England. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb and George Bernard Shaw,[6] the School joined the federal University of London in 1900 as the Faculty of Economics. Degrees were issued to the school's students from 1902 onwards.

Today, the LSE remains a specialist single-faculty constituent college of the University with 8,700 full-time students.[7] It describes itself as the world's leading social science institution for teaching and research, which spans the full breadth of the social sciences.[8] The school is among the world's most selective universities, with the lowest admissions rate of any university in Britain[9][10], and is consistently placed among the top higher education instititutions in the world in university rankings. As a member of the Russell Group [11] LSE was found to have the highest percentage of world-leading research of any university in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.[12]. The school has produced many notable alumni in the fields of politics and economics, including several Nobel laureates and foreign heads of state.[13]



The London School of Economics was founded in 1895[14] by Beatrice and Sidney Webb,[15] initially funded by a bequest of £20,000[16][17] from the estate of Henry Hunt Hutchinson. Hutchinson, a lawyer[16] and member of the Fabian Society,[18][19] left the money in trust, to be put "towards advancing its [The Fabian Society's] objects in any way they [the trustees] deem advisable".[19] The five trustees were Sidney Webb, Edward Pease, Constance Hutchinson, William de Mattos and William Clark.[16]

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.[14] The proposal was accepted by the trustees in February 1895[19] and the LSE held its first classes in October of that year, in rooms at 9 John Street, Adelphi,[20] 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.[20] 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;[14] the building was opened in 1922.

During World War II, the School decamped from London to University of Cambridge, occupying buildings belonging to Peterhouse.[21]

The school's arms,[22] including its motto and beaver mascot, were adopted in February 1922,[23] on the recommendation of a committee of twelve, including eight students, which was established to research the matter.[24] The latin motto, "Rerum cognoscere causas", is taken from Virgil's Georgics. Its English translation is "to Know the Causes of Things"[23] and it was suggested by Professor Edwin Cannan.[14] The beaver mascot was selected for its associations with "foresight, constructiveness and industrious behaviour".[24]

Current activity

LSE continues to have a major impact upon British society, especially with its close 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 the 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'."[25]

Stonework featuring LSE initials

Recently, the School has been active in British government proposals to introduce compulsory ID cards,[26][27] researching into the associated costs of the scheme, and shifting public and government opinion on the issue.[28] 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.[29][30]

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 the 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'."[31]

Additionally, the top 10 employers of LSE graduates are principally accounting, investment banking, consultancy and law firms.[32] Indeed, LSE is often known as the 'investment bank nursery' due to around 30% of graduates going into "banking, financial services and accountancy", according to LSE Careers Service official figures. LSE is often the most preferred university for employers in the private sector, financial services abroad and the City of London. Further, LSE graduates command the highest salaries of UK graduates at £29,253 - ahead of Imperial, UCL, Oxford, King’s and Cambridge. [33]

Over the years the School has continued to expand around Houghton Street. A recent fund-raising scheme, called the "Campaign for the 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, to be 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. 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.[34]

The School has on ongoing capital investment project and has recently purchased a number of sites to add to its portfolio, most recently with Sardinia House on Sardinia Street in November 2009. It is currently embarking on a £30 million project to build a new student centre, housing the students' union, careers service, accommodation office, events spaces, cafes, bars and a club. The building will be located on the current St Phillips site, to be demolished in Summer 2010. A new £25 million student residence is also expected to be built in Southwark by 2011.

Its current Director is Sir Howard Davies, who previously served as Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Controller of the Audit Commission, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry and Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. Following his first term in office, he has been reappointed as of June 2007, and will serve until 2013.

Besides its affiliation with the Russell Group, LSE is currently a member of the European University Association,[35] the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Community of European Management Schools and International Companies,[36] the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs,[37] and Universities UK,[38] as well as the Golden Triangle of British universities.

Programmes and admission

The main entrance in the early 1990s

LSE is dedicated solely to the study and research of social sciences, and is the only university in the United Kingdom to be so. The School offers over 140 MSc programmes, 4 MPA programmes, an LLM, 30 BSc programmes, an LLB and 4 BA programmes (including International History and Geography).[39] LSE is only one of two British universities to teach a BSc in Economic History, the other being the University of Cambridge. Other subjects pioneered by LSE include anthropology, criminology, international relations, social psychology sociology and social policy.[40] Courses are split across more than thirty research centres and nineteen departments, plus a Language Centre.[41] 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.

Admission to LSE is extremely competitive. According to 2008 UCAS figures, the school received 19,039 applications for 1,299 places. This means that 15 applicants fought for each place, which is the highest ratio of any university in Britain . Some courses, including Government, Economics, International Relations, History, Law, Management and Accounting and Finance and have more than 20 applicants per place and thus an admissions rate of around 5%.[42][43][44] Consequently, LSE is one of the world's most selective universities at the undergraduate level, with many courses surpassing the 7-9 percent admissions yield of Ivy League universities Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Most programmes give out typical offers of A*AA-AAB at A-Level. However, due to the selectivity of the school, most successful LSE students arrive at the school with significantly higher grades; with the average student in 2009 obtaining 491 UCAS Tariff points (equivalent to AAAA at A-Level).[45]

Entrance standards are also high for postgraduate students, who are required to have (for taught Master's courses) a First Class or good Upper Second Class UK honours degree, or its foreign equivalent.[46] The applications success rate for postgraduate programmes varies by their size, although most of the major courses, including Economics and International Relations, consistantly have an acceptance rate below 10%.[47] Some of the very top premium programmes such as the full time MSc Finance and the MSc Financial Mathematics have admission rates below 3%.[48][49] However, the LSE plans to increase the number of graduate places offered, by expansion allowed by the purchase of additional faculty buildings.[50]

The LSE has a university wide partnership in teaching and research with Columbia University in New York, Peking University and Sciences Po Paris, with whom it offers various joint degrees. For example, the highly rated 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.[51] LSE also offers various joint degrees with other universities. It offers the TRIUM Global Executive MBA programme[52] 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 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.[53]

The LSE Summer School was established in 1989 and has expanded extensively with more than 3,000 participants in 2006. The Summer School offers over 50 subjects based on regular undergraduate courses, from the Accounting, Finance, Law, International Relations and Management departments, and takes place over two sessions of three weeks, in July and August each year. LSE also offers the LSE-PKU Summer School in collaboration with Peking University. Courses from both Summer Schools can be used as credit against other qualifications, and some courses can be taken as part of a conditional offer for LSE Masters programmes. In 2007 the Summer School accepted students from over 100 countries, including 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.[54]

Student body

There are nearly 7,800 full-time students and around 800 part-time students at the School. Of these, 25% come from the United Kingdom and only 4% from London. The LSE has the most international student body in the world,[55] and at one time, LSE had more countries represented by students than the UN.[56]

Almost 64% of LSE's students are postgraduates,[56] 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.[56]

Students' union

Logo of the LSE SU

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,[57][58] 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 (more than any other UK students' union), 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 the LSESU, the 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".

Location and campus life

View of Houghton Street
St Clement's Building

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 the 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 campus has often been referred to as an M.C. Escher maze.[citation needed] The school is also noted by its numerous statues, either animals or surrealist, often donated by alumni.

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 the 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 the LSE Garrick on the junction of Houghton Street and Aldwych.

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.

The British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES) is currently the world's largest library solely dedicated to the social sciences, 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.[59] 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 the LSE' public lectures and discussions.

LSE is famous for its public lectures programme, organised by the LSE Events office which is open to students, alumni and the general public. These weekly lectures are regularly given by prominent national and international speakers including ambassadors, authors, CEOs, Members of Parliament, leading professors and heads of state.

Recent speakers have included Gordon Brown, Dmitri Medvedev, John Atta Mills, Alistair Darling, George Soros, David Cameron, Kevin Rudd, Bill Clinton, George Osborne, Lord Stern, Cherie Booth, Ben Bernanke, John Major, Mary McAleese, Rowan Williams, Alan Greenspan, Robert Peston, Will Hutton, Hilary Benn, Hazel Blears, Richard Lambert, Joschka Fischer. Jack Straw, Baroness Thatcher, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jens Lehmann, Kofi Annan, Tony Blair, Gerhard Schroeder, John Lewis Gaddis, Joseph Meegan, Costas Simitis, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Lee Hsien Loong, Milton Friedman, Jeffrey Sachs, Vicente Fox, Noam Chomsky and Nelson Mandela.

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 the 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 most recently, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States.[60]

The LSE also hosts many concerts and plays, with We Are Scientists, Wiley, Robin Williams, Alan Fletcher (better known as Neighbours' Dr. Karl Kennedy) and Tim Westwood performing along with numerous lunchtime classical music recitals.


Northumberland House

LSE operates eleven halls of residence centred in and around central London, consisting ten residential facilities owned and operated by LSE and a further residence operated by Shaftesbury Student Housing. Together, these residences accommodate over 3,500 students.[61] In addition, there are also eight intercollegiate halls shared with other constituent colleges of the University of London, accommodating approximately 25% of the School's first year intake.

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 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. High Holborn, approximately 10 minutes from campus was opened in 1995 and remains the second largest residence. Other accommodation is located well for London's attractions and facilities - Butler's Wharf is situated next to Tower Bridge, Rosebery in the London Borough of Islington and near Sadler's Wells and Carr-Saunders Hall, named after the LSE professor is approximately 5 minutes from Telecom Tower in the heart of Fitzrovia.

Grosvenor House Studios

Since 2005, the School has opened three new residences to provide accommodation for all first year students. Lilian Knowles, independently operated, is home for approximately 360 students and opened in 2006. 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.

Libraries and archives

Library roof

The main library of the LSE is the British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES). It is the home of the world's largest social and political sciences Library. Founded in 1896, it has been 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 6,500 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.

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.


The Fulbright Commission states that "The London School of Economics and Political Science is the leading social science institution in the world".[62]

In the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings, the school was ranked 11th in the world in 2004 and 2005, but controversially 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.[63]. 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 the LSE.[64] A representative of Thomson Reuters, THE's new partner, even stated: "The LSE stood at only 67th in the last Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings - some mistake surely? Yes, and quite a big one."[65] 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. Incidentally, LSE often scores well in the social science specific section of the ranking. Indeed, it has never finishing out of the top 5 in the world; ranking 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the last five years [66]. LSE also appears high up in the employer review surveys and since the rankings inception, has never finished outside of the world's top 5 universities in the eyes of employers. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the LSE had the highest percentage of world-leading research of any British higher education institution.[67] Indeed, 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.[68] Furthermore, according to the Times Newspaper, the LSE ranks as joint-second (with Oxford) by grade point average across the fourteen units of assessment submitted, behind only Cambridge.[69][70][71] According to these RAE results, the LSE is the UK's top research university in Anthropology, Economics, Politics, Law, Social Policy and European Studies.[72][73]

Various specific LSE departments also ranked highly. In 2009, the MSc Management and Strategy programme was ranked 4th in the world by the Financial Times' Masters in Management Ranking (4th in 2008, 3rd in 2007, 8th in 2006, 4th in 2005)[74] and the TRIUM Executive MBA was ranked 2nd in the world by the 2009 Financial Times EMBA Ranking.[75] The LSE also ranks highly in various world rankings of Economics and International Relations departments. With regards to the latter, a February 2009 TRIP survey of 2,724 academics from International Relations faculty in 10 countries placed LSE's PhD program 6th in the world and its terminal masters programs (which include MSc's in International Relations, International Relations Theory, Theory and History of International Relations, History of International Relations, and International Political Economy) 7th in the world and 1st amongst British and African academics surveyed.

Domestically, LSE is one of only five British institutions to have never ranked outside the top 10 in any newspaper compiled league table. The school, with Imperial College, has often dominated the position immediately after Oxbridge, but since 2009, has controversially slipped due to the introduction of student satisfaction scores; in which the school currently ranks 103 ot of 129 universities. Indeed, the LSE ranked 3rd overall in the Sunday Times University Guide' cumulative ranking over a ten year period (1997–2007).[76], but dropped to 7th, in the 2009 Times Good University Guide [77].[78] LSE graduates often score highly in the 'employment prospects' section of guides, with students considered to have the best 'graduate prospects' of any British university in all 2009 rankings.



UK University Rankings
Assessor 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
Times Good University Guide 7th[79] 4th[77] 4th[80] 4th[81] 4th[82] 4th[83] 4th 4th [84] 5th [84] 7th= [84] 8th= 8th= 3rd
Guardian University Guide 5th[85] 3rd[86] 6th[86] 3rd 3rd[87] 5th[88] 5th[89] 3rd[90] 3rd[91]
Sunday Times University Guide 9th[92] 4th 4th[93] 3[45] 3th[94] 4 4th[95] 3rd[95] 3rd[95] 3rd[95] 3rd[95] 3rd[95] 4th[95]
Daily Telegraph 4th[96] 3rd[91]
FT 4th[97][98] 4th[91] 4th=[99] 4th[100] 4th[101]
Complete University Guide 4th[102] 3rd=[103] 4th[103]

Economic contribution and history

LSE vs. Cambridge

Friedrich Hayek, Nobel Prize for Economics winner

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. For LSE and the historical economists, economic theory's application was of greater significance than economic theory itself. 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 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.


Nobel Laureates associated with the London School of Economics[104]
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
1990 Merton Miller Economics
1991 Ronald Coase Economics
1998 Amartya Sen Economics
1999 Robert Mundell Economics
2001 George Akerlof Economics
2007 Leonid Hurwicz Economics
2008 Paul Krugman Economics

The LSE has a long list of notable alumni and staff, spanning the fields of scholarship covered by the school. Among them are fifteen Nobel Prize winners[104] in Economics, Peace and Literature. Other notable former staff members include Anthony Giddens, Harold Laski, 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.[105]. Mervyn King, the current Governor of the Bank of England, is also a former professor of economics.[106]

Many alumni of the school are notable figures, especially in the areas of politics, economics and finance. Indeed, with regards to the political arena, as of February 2009, around 34 past or present heads of state have studied or taught at LSE, and 28 members of the British House of Commons and 42 members of the 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 Ed Miliband. Internationally, John F Kennedy (former US President), Óscar Arias (Costa Rican President), Taro Aso[105] (Prime Minister of Japan), Queen Margrethe II of Denmark,[105] B. R. Ambedkar[105] (Father of Indian Constitution) K. R. Narayanan[105] (Ex-President of India) and Romano Prodi[105] (Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission) all studied at the LSE. Successful businesspeople who studied at the LSE include Delphine Arnault, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Spiros Latsis, David Rockefeller, Maurice Saatchi and George Soros. Notable fictitious alumni include President Josiah Bartlet from the television series The West Wing and Andrew Bond, the father of Ian Fleming's James Bond.

List of Directors

A new lobby

Recent press reports have identified the LSE as part of a new group of universities which has started to act as a self-conscious elite lobby and pressure group: known commonly as the "G5".[108][109] According to the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), the five are the LSE, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and University College London, and it describes them as the "super-elite" as all five are already members of the Russell Group).[108]

It has been reported in the THES[108][109] that "The group, which calls itself the G5, warns that without more money to support its high-quality teaching, its members will turn away British undergraduates and focus instead on overseas and postgraduate students, whose fees cover most of the full cost of their courses. The new group has been meeting in secret for a few months. Few vice-chancellors know of its existence as a fully fledged grouping. The G5's goal is to secure extra state cash above the £3,000 student top-up fees likely from 2006 to cover the full costs of home and European Union undergraduates on their courses. The G5 group will make a case for special treatment for its members."

The LSE is also member of a new group known as the Golden Triangle, made up of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, LSE, University College London and King's College London. The last three are each notable colleges of the University of London (with Imperial gaining independence from the University of London in 2007), and are often regarded as universities[110] in their own right. All have made progress towards gaining the right to award their own degrees.


LSE awards a range of academic degrees spanning bachelors, masters and PhDs. The postnominals awarded are the degree abbreviations used commonly among British universities.

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).

Students revising in Lincoln's Inn Fields

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 will automatically receive an LSE degree.

The LSE in conjunction with New York University's Stern School and HEC. Paris also offer a unique executive global MBA called TRIUM. This is currently globally ranked 2nd by the FT and strives to meld the strong social sciences, management strategy and financial accumen providing senior executives a well rounded view.

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 is inside the central London Congestion Charging zone.

The nearest London Underground stations are Holborn, Temple and Covent Garden. Charing Cross, at the other end of Strand is the nearest mainline station, whilst London Waterloo is ten minutes walk across the River Thames. Buses to Aldwych and Kingsway will stop right outside the School at Houghton Street.

Intercollegiate rivalry

LSE maintains strong rivalries with other colleges of the University of London, and also with Imperial College London. Students at both LSE and UCL refer to King's College London as "Strand Polytechnic".

Tensions between King's College and the School were ignited on 2 December 2005 when at least 200 students diverted off from the annual "barrel run" and caused an estimated £32,000 of damage to the English department at King's.[111] King's Principal Rick Trainor called for no retaliation and LSE Students' Union were forced to issue an apology as well as foot the bill for the damage repair. While LSE officially condemned the action, a photograph was published in The Beaver which was later picked up by The Times that showed Director Sir Howard Davies drinking with members of the Students' Union shortly before the barrel run - and the "rampage" - began. The Run was banned for a period of five years after the outbreak much to the dismay of students. It is hoped to return in 2010. In addition, the Penguin statue was stolen in early 2009 from the LSE campus, thought to be the work of Kings students.


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External links

Simple English

The London School of Economics and Political Science (more commonly London School of Economics) is a college of the University of London. The college opened in 1895. Today it is one of the leading Universities for Law, Economics and political sciences. Well-known people who attended the college are George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, John Richard Hicks, Friedrich August von Hayek, Mick Jagger, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Monica Lewinsky.


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