The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is the world's leading social science institution for teaching and research. A 'laboratory of the social sciences', the School's academic profile spans a wide range of disciplines, from Economics, International Relations, Government and Law, to Sociology, Information Systems, and Accounting and Finance. Teaching and research are conducted through 18 departments and more than 30 Research Centres and Institutes. LSE has more than 7,000 full-time and part-time students, around 54 per cent undergraduates and 46 per cent postgraduates, from the UK and more than 130 countries worldwide.
Since its foundation in 1895, LSE has maintained high levels of scholarly achievement. LSE was ranked second after Cambridge for the quality of its research in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise of UK universities. Around 83 per cent of LSE's 900 staff work in subject areas rated in the top categories of 5 or 5*.
It is home also to one of the world's premier social science libraries - the LSE Library contains more than four million items, including Fabian, Liberal party and other political archives and the famous Charles Booth 'poverty maps' of 19th century London. The Library is housed in a stunning new building, the Lionel Robbins Building, which was redesigned during 2000-01 by architects Foster and Partners. The building also houses a new Research Laboratory incorporating several research centres and institutes.
To a degree matched by few other university institutions, the LSE is an active participant in the nation's public life. Located in central London, the School enjoys a high level of interaction with Westminster, Whitehall, the City, and London's legal and media centres.
LSE staff are in constant demand as commentators and analysts in the media, act as advisers to governments, regularly serve on Royal Commissions and government inquiries, and are seconded to national and international organisations. Leading public figures come to LSE to give lectures, attend seminars and consult staff. Recent high profile visitors have included Madeline Albright, George Soros and Nelson Mandela.
LSE graduates are found in senior positions in politics, the civil service, business and industry, and international organisations around the world. LSE alumni and former staff include 12 Nobel Prize winners in Economics, Peace or Literature; 28 past or present Heads of State, 32 current UK MPs and 31 current peers of the House of Lords.
The School is renowned also for its atmosphere of intellectual argument and debate. No set view prevails. Rather, LSE is a laboratory where ideas from all perspectives are developed, tested, criticised and disseminated to the wider world.
LSE's new strengths for the next century include the study of globalisation, human rights, risk and business management, new communications technologies, urban and regional policies, and new forms of governance. LSE aims to educate students to make a difference to the world.
14 February 2001