LSE Springboard welcomes first cohort of Year 12 students to campus

LSE Springboard provides opportunities to support pupils to achieve through their sixth-form studies and beyond
- Jess Bond, Head of Widening Participation at LSE
LSE Springboard cohort 2023 during April campus visit

LSE Springboard welcomed its first cohort of Year 12 students to campus last week (Friday 21 April) for an introduction to life at LSE.

Launched in January 2023, LSE Springboard is a major new initiative from LSE Widening Participation. The 10-month programme has been designed to increase successful applications from sixth-form students who live outside LSE’s traditional catchment area of London and the South East of England, and who are from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in higher education.

The campus day included ice-breaker sessions, a tour of campus, and university-level workshops led by Dr Cathy Duxby and Dr Dave Ashby, academics from LSE’s flagship LSE100 course.

The cohort will meet together on campus on three occasions over the course of the year. Participants will also benefit from a packed online programme of academic enrichment in five subject areas, delivered in partnership with the university access charity The Brilliant Club, as well as sessions covering information, advice and guidance on university applications and study.

Successful completion of the programme will enable participants to be considered for contextual admissions and a contextual offer to LSE.

Sixteen-year-old Isabella is enjoying the academic aspect of LSE Springboard: “The academic study has been my favourite part of the programme so far. I love learning at school, and now I have the opportunity to look at topics at a higher level. Today has been what I was prepared for so there haven’t been any unexpected surprises - it’s been reassuring and exciting at the same time.”

Mezab, 16, says of the programme: “I've been to London once before, so today I’ve really enjoyed being in London and getting to know the LSE campus. I think that being part of this programme is giving me the confidence to know that I can come into different surroundings and meet lots of people from different backgrounds, and I am able to work and connect with them. I will also be the first generation in my family to go to university, so it’s exciting to think about the possibilities for my studies and for the future.”

Joanna, 16, explained her positive experience of LSE so far: “I've enjoyed seeing how diverse the university is - I’ve seen that it really isn’t just one type of person that gets accepted here, but rather people from all strands of life, different backgrounds and different cultures. It's good to see that it's balanced and there's no dominant voice, I think it’s important so that everyone gets to influence the culture of the School.”

Annamaria is a current LSE student and Student Ambassador for Widening Participation, she believes that LSE Springboard provides participants with helpful and supportive experience: “For many of the participants this is their first or second time in London. I think it’s easy to fear that studying here is unattainable, but I’m pleased to show them that it is within their reach. Today the students have had an insight into how our lectures work, the way we approach subjects, our group work and the way we discuss with each other, it’s a very good insight into our everyday life at LSE.”

Commenting on the new programme, Jess Bond, Head of Widening Participation at LSE said: “It is brilliant to see so many students from across the UK taking part in the first LSE Springboard campus visit.  Continuing to widen access to, and participation in, higher education is of utmost importance to the School and Springboard is one example of an LSE Widening Participation programme that is working to achieve that aim. 

“LSE Springboard provides opportunities to support pupils to achieve through their sixth-form studies and beyond, with a range of activities delivered on campus and virtually. We are also really pleased to be partnering with leading university access charity The Brilliant Club, and hope that the participants will gain a lot from the further online academic enrichment activity delivered by PhD tutors, which is supported and enhanced by other elements of our programme."