London School of EconomicsEdit profile
The London School of Economics and Political Science (informally the London School of Economics or LSE) is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb and George Bernard Shaw, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and degrees were issued to its students from 1902 onwards. Despite its name LSE conducts teaching and research across the entire range of the social sciences, including accounting and finance, anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations, law, media and communications, philosophy, politics, psychology, social policy and sociology. LSE is based in Westminster, central London, on the boundary between Covent Garden and Holborn. It has around 8,700 full-time students and 1,300 academic staff and had a total income of £203 million in 2008/09, of which £20.3 million was from research grants and contracts. LSE's library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, contains over 4.7 million volumes and is the world's largest social and political sciences library. LSE was found to have the highest percentage of world-leading research of any British university in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. LSE has the lowest undergraduate admissions rate of any university in Britain. It has a highly international student body, and at one time had more countries represented by students than the United Nations has members. LSE has produced many notable alumni in the fields of law, economics, business, literature and politics. There are currently 16 Nobel Prize winners amongst LSE's alumni and current and former staff, as well as 34 world leaders and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners and fellows of the British Academy. 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. It forms part of the 'Golden Triangle' of British universities.
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 objects in any way they 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 Robbins and Hayek, and Cambridge's Keynes were chief figures in the intellectual disagreement between the institutions. The controversy widened from deflation versus demand management as a solution to the economic problems of the day, to broader conceptions of economics and macroeconomics. Robbins and Hayek's views were based on the Austrian School of Economics with its emphasis on free trade and anti-interventionism, while Keynes advanced a brand of economic theory now known as Keynesianism which advocates active policy responses by the public sector. During World War II, the School decamped from London to University of Cambridge, occupying buildings belonging to Peterhouse. 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 significant effect within British society, through 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 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'." Mascot Beaver Affiliations ACU APSIA CEMS EUA G5 Russell Group University of London Universities UK Website www.lse.ac.uk Recently, the School has been active in 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. The Sunday Times' recent profile of LSE for the 2008 Sunday Times University Guide, commented: " There are many who have achieved in the world of politics, business or academia who can trace their success to the years they spent at LSE. Inspired by tuition from academics who are often familiar faces, if not household names, LSE students take their first steps to greatness in the debating chambers, cafes, bars ”“ and even occasionally in their seminar groups ”“ during three or four years of studying'." Additionally, the top 10 employers of LSE graduates are principally accounting, investment banking, consultancy and law firms. 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. Over the years the School has continued to expand around Houghton Street. A recent fund-raising scheme, called the "Campaign for LSE" raised over £100 million in one of the largest university fund-raising exercises ever seen in Britain. In 2003, LSE purchased the former Public Trustee building at 24 Kingsway. This has been redeveloped by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw into an ultra-modern educational building, 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 (11,000 m 2). 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 has an ongoing capital investment project and has recently purchased a number of sites to add to its portfolio. In November 2009, LSE purchased the freehold of both Sardinia House, overlooking Lincoln's Inn Fields, and the Ye Old White Horse public house. More recently, in October 2010, it was announced the university had been successful in acquiring the freehold of the grade-II listed gothic Land Registry Building adjacent to Lincoln's Inn. It is currently also 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 2012. Professor Niall Ferguson of Harvard University became the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs for the 2010-2011 academic year. Its latest director was Sir Howard Davies, who previously had 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 was supposed to serve until 2013. However, in February 2011, the school had to deal with controversy regarding the authorship of the Ph.D. thesis of one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and also a £1.5m donation to university. 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.
LSE moved to its present day central London campus at Clare Market and Houghton Street in Westminster, off the Aldwych and next to the Royal Courts of Justice and Temple Bar in 1902. In 1920, King George V laid the foundation stone of the Old Building, the principal building of LSE. The School has gradually increased its ownership of adjacent buildings, creating an almost continuous campus between Kingsway and the Royal Courts of Justice. Today, the campus consists of approximately thirty buildings, connections between which have been established on an ad-hoc basis, with often confusing results. The floor levels of buildings do not always equate, leading to an individual being on a different "floor" after passing through a hallway. The campus also has a series of extension bridges between buildings created high on the upper floors to connect several buildings. The school is also noted by its numerous statues, either animals or surrealist, often donated by alumni. LSE's campus went through a renewal under former Director Anthony Giddens (1996”“2003), with the redevelopment of Connaught and Clement Houses on the Aldwych, and the purchase of buildings including the George IV public house, which had been nestled amongst the campus for decades, but is now owned by LSE. Recent projects have included the £35 million renovation of the Lionel Robbins Building, which houses the British Library of Political and Economic Science, LSE's Library and a brand new Student Services Centre in the Old Building as well as LSE Garrick on the junction of Houghton Street and Aldwych. In 2009, the School purchased Sardinia House on Lincoln's Inn Fields and the Ye Olde White Horse public house, adjacent to Parish Hall, as new additions to the estate. Since 2010, LSE has also leased premises behind the Library in New Court and will open a new medical centre on Lincoln's Inn Fields in Queen's House in September 2010. 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 the current operating Library of LSE. It is the home of the world's largest social and political sciences Library, containing over 4.7 million volumes on its shelves. This also makes it the second largest single entity library in Britain, after the British Library at King's Cross. Other buildings of note include the Peacock Theatre, the School's main lecture theatre, seating 999 persons, which by night serves as the West End base of Sadler's Wells. The venue is a member of the Society of London Theatre, and has hosted many dance, musical and dramatic productions, as well as serving as the base for many of LSE' public lectures and discussions. 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.
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 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.
Programmes and degrees
LSE is dedicated solely to the study and research of social sciences, and is the only university in the United Kingdom to be so. LSE awards a range of academic degrees spanning bachelors, masters and PhDs. The postnominals awarded are the degree abbreviations used commonly among British universities. The School offers over 140 MSc programmes, 4 MPA programmes, an LLM, 30 BSc programmes, an LLB and 4 BA programmes (including International History and Geography). 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. 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. In conjunction with New York University's Stern School and HEC Paris the LSE also offers an executive global MBA called TRIUM. This is currently globally ranked 2nd by the FT and strives to meld the strong social sciences, management strategy and financial accumen providing senior executives a well rounded view. From 1902, following its absorption into the University of London, and up until 2007, all degrees were awarded by the federal university, in common with all other colleges of the university. This system was changed in 2007 in order to enable some colleges to award their own degrees. LSE was granted the power to begin awarding its own degrees from June 2008. Students graduating between June 2008 and June 2010 have the option of receiving a degree either from the University of London or the School. All undergraduate students entering from 2007 and postgraduate students from 2009 will automatically receive an LSE degree. 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).
Admission to LSE is exceptionally 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 and International Relations have more than 20 applicants per place and thus an admissions rate of around 5%. 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, Princeton and Columbia. Most programmes give out typical offers of A*AA-AAB at A-Level. Entrance standards are also high for postgraduate students, who are required to have (for taught Master's courses) a First Class or good 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 and International Relations, consistently have an acceptance rate below 10%. Some of the very top premium programmes such as the MSc Finance and the MSc Financial Mathematics have admission rates below 3%.
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. 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. The School has formed formal academic agreements with five international universities - Columbia University (New York City), Sciences Po (Paris), the University of Cape Town, Peking University (Beijing) and the National University of Singapore, in addition to numerous research agreements with Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Chicago, NYU, Imperial College and UC Berkeley.
The Fulbright Commission states that "The London School of Economics and Political Science is the leading social science institution in the world". In the THE-QS World University Rankings (from 2010 two separate rankings will be produced by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 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, even stated: "LSE stood at only 67th in the last Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings - some mistake surely? Yes, and quite a big one." 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 finished out of the top 5 in the world; ranking 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the last five years. 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, 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. 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) and the TRIUM Executive MBA was ranked 2nd in the world by the 2009 Financial Times EMBA Ranking. 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. One of the flagship MSc degrees is the MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, which has been named one of the most prestigious 5 degrees in the world, alongside Harvard's MBA. The programme is considered the top feeder to top US PhD programmes, and is recognised as arguably the toughest MSc-level degree in the world. Also highly esteemed, is the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method which was established in 1946 by Karl Popper. Popper is widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century and is noted for his influential theories regarding falsification and open society. Both he and his successor Imre Lakatos, who joined the department in 1960, were instrumental in shaping 20th century philosophy of science and the social sciences. The Philosophical Gourmet Report of 2009 ranks the department as 1st in the world for Philosophy of Social Science. Domestically, LSE is one of only four 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 slipped due to the introduction of student satisfaction scores. Indeed, LSE ranked 3rd overall in the Sunday Times University Guide' cumulative ranking over a ten year period (1997”“2007), but dropped to 7th, in the 2009 Times Good University Guide. 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. Note: As stated above, LSE claim that the institutional rankings of the most recent THE/QS tables (2009-2007) do not fairly rank specialist institutions like LSE. In 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings. LSE dropped further in both rankings, coming in at 80 in the QS rankings and 86 in the new THE rankings. In the 2011 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, LSE is ranked 37th.
UK University Rankings Assessor 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 Times Good University Guide 5 th 7 th 4 th 4 th 4 th 4 th 4 th 4 th 4 th 5 th 7 th= 8 th= 8 th= 3 rd Guardian University Guide 8 th 5 th 3 rd 6 th 3 rd 3 rd 5 th 5 th 3 rd 3 rd Sunday Times University Guide 5 th 9 th 4 th 4 th 3 3 th 4 4 th 3 rd 3 rd 3 rd 3 rd 3 rd 4 th Complete University Guide 5 th 4 th 3 rd= 4 th University Rankings Assessor 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 Academic Ranking of World Universities 201-300 st 201-302