The year in review

News, honours and awards from 2017/18

Take a trip through a packed academic year at LSE.

The presentations were fantastic, they were of a really high quality which was impressive considering the short time in which the students had met and had to prepare. If they are the future, we’re going to be fine!

June Sarpong, LSE Sprint guest judge

LSE Festival event Who Belongs, with Celestin Okoroji, Jana Uher, Brett Heasman, Bev Skeggs and Sunil Kumar
"Who Belongs?" an LSE Festival event with Celestin Okoroji, Jana Uher, Bev Skeggs, Breet Heasman and Sunil Kumar

On campus

Looking back at Beveridge 2.0

In February 2018, thousands of visitors flocked to LSE for Beveridge 2.0, the first LSE Festival. In a packed week of public events, speakers including Celestin Okoroji, Jana Uher, Bev Skeggs, Brett Heasman and Sunil Kumar (pictured) considered a 21st century approach to former LSE Director William Beveridge’s 1942 plan for a welfare state. Catch up on event podcasts and videos or take a whistle-stop tour through the Beveridge 2.0 highlights film.

LSE Festival 2019 is coming. We’re looking forward to welcoming alumni andfriends back to campus next February to analyse and address “New World (Dis)Orders”. How did we get here? What are the challenges? And, importantly,  howcan we tackle them?

LSE Sprint: challenging social policy

During LSE’s Beveridge 2.0 Festival, the Widening Participation team held a brand new event, “LSE Sprint”, a fast-paced sixhour policy challenge with 22 sixth formstudents from London. The students workedin small teams to solve one of three policychallenges – illiteracy, food poverty, orin-work poverty.Each challenge was designed in partnershipwith the Department of Social Policy. Mentored by LSE 100 academics andcurrent LSE students, the teams proposedsolutions that were presented to a panelof esteemed judges including guest judge,TV presenter June Sarpong.Team Charlie, the winning group, tackled the issue of illiteracy levels in the UK for young people.

The team presented acomprehensive set of solutions including early intervention, promoting reading for enjoyment, and ensuring the home environment is conducive to encouraging reading. Participants said the experience boosted their confidence, encouraged them to thinkabout issues from different perspectivesand taught them to work effectively with others under time pressure. The Widening Participation team hopes to include more“LSE Sprint” events in the future as partof its work with young people currently studying in London schools and colleges.

Guest judge June Sarpong said: “The presentations were fantastic, they were of a really high quality which was impressive considering the short time in which the students had met and had to prepare. If they are the future, we’re going to be fine!”

LSE in the news

New €1 million fund for historians in Russia

LSE has announced a new programme offering fellowships and conference grants to historians based in Russia. Funded by the Dr Frederik Paulsen Foundation, The Paulsen Programme at LSE has been set up to support historians in Russia whose work focuses on the imperial period from the mid-17th century to 1918.

Though excellent scholarship is being undertaken by young and mid-career Russian historians, they often lack the opportunity to travel outside Russia to consult archives and libraries and participate in scholarly discussions on an “international stage”. This also means that non-Russian historians often do not have access to the work of their Russian peers. The Paulsen Programme at LSE will allow historians in Russia to realise their full potential in their research and enable them to make a powerful impact within the worldwide community of historians.

Major commission on the Future of the NHS  launched

LSE and medical journal The Lancet have begun a joint commission to examine The Future of the NHS, the first of its kind to study the NHS across the whole of the UK.

Led by the LSE Department of Health Policy, the commission runs throughout 2018, the 70th anniversary year of the NHS. It focuses on the major challenges facing the NHS across the UK, which range from: the pressure to secure adequate funding; to supply a sustainable skilled workforce and meet the ever-changing healthcare needs of the population; to consider current and future challenges, and to draw on local, national and international evidence to develop key policy recommendations. The commission will publish its findings in 2019.

A blood pressure monitor on an arm

New £1million research programme on inequality

A major new £1million research programme will analyse the progress of social policy in addressing social inequalities.

Social Policies and Distributional Outcomes (SPDO) in a changing Britain will be undertaken by a team of inequalities and social policy experts at LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, in partnership with The University of Manchester, Heriot-Watt University and the UCL Institute for Education. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, it will be overseen by an independent advisory board chaired by the economist Dame Frances Cairncross.

The central objective is to provide an authoritative, independent, rigorous and in-depth evidence base on social policies and distributional outcomes in 21st century Britain. It will analyse what progress has been made in addressing social inequalities through social policies.

A cityscape

Honours and awards

Guardian University Award for LSE IQ podcast

The LSE IQ podcast has won a 2018 Guardian University Award. The monthly podcast where LSE academics, and other experts, answer one pressing, intelligent question per episode about economics, politics or society has rapidly gained a large following since it was launched in April 2017. It won the award in the category of ‘best marketing and comms campaign’ for ‘an imaginative university marketing or press campaign that imparts a clear message to engage its target audience and raise the profile of the university, or show it in a new light.’ The judges were specialists from within the Guardian and across the higher education sector in the UK.

Success at the 2018 ESRC Celebrating Impact Prizes

Brett Heasman, a PhD researcher in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, was the runner-up in the ‘Outstanding Early Career Impact’ category at this year’s prestigious ESRC ‘Celebrating Impact’ awards. The panel also awarded an inaugural 'Future Promise' prize –for research showing exceptional promise for future impact - to Brett for his work on improving public understanding of autism.

CEP awarded Research Institute status

The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has recognised LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) as a global centre of excellence by granting it official ESRC Research Institute status. The title acknowledges CEP’s work as demonstrating sustained strategic value to the ESRC, as well as to the broader social science research landscape. The new ESRC Institute status is part of a package of changes in funding policy for ESRC centres and marks a change in the way that the Council will fund a small number of strategically important centres that have been persistently successful in open competition.

Queen’s Anniversary Prize

LSE has been awarded one of the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, for LSE Cities’ broad range of research, education and outreach activities. The prize, which is part of the UK honours system, is given biennially to institutions across the UK, recognising excellence in a number of key academic areas which have had impact on society and the wider community.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for 2016-18 is awarded in recognition of LSE Cities’ work on “training, research and policy formulation for cities of the future and a new generation of urban leaders around the world”.

This is the third time LSE has received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize. The School previously secured the award in 2010 for the work of LSE Health and Social Care and, in 2002, for the work of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE.

Queens Anniversary Award prize-giving
Minouche Shafik and Ricky Burdett receive the Queen's Anniversary Prize from the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall

LSE wins award for widening access 

LSE has been recognised for its work on widening access and admissions at this year’s Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards. The 2018 “THELMAs” recognise outstanding work across the management, the professional services and administration of UK universities.

The LSE Undergraduate Admissions team won the award for Excellence in Registry Services following the introduction of a system which has enabled the School to widen access by including social and educational contextual factors as part of its holistic decision-making process.

Knighthood for Professor Tim Besley

School Professor of Economics and Political Science, Tim Besley was knighted for his services to economics and public policy. Professor Besley, who is also the W Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics, previously served as an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee from September 2006 to August 2009, and since 2015 has been a member of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission.

Tim Besley
Professor Tim Besley

Professor Richard Sennett awarded OBE

Chair of the LSE Cities Programme and Centennial Professor of Sociology at LSE, Richard Sennett was appointed OBE for services to design. Through his research and extensive writings, Professor Sennett has explored how individuals and groups make social and cultural sense of material facts – about the cities in which they live and about the labour they do.

Professor Lord Stern made Companion of Honour

Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE, was made a Companion of Honour in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. A prestigious award granted to only 65 people at a time, the Order of the Companions of  Honour is for conspicuous service of national importance and recognises an individual’s major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government over their lifetime. Professor Lord Stern was given the title in recognition of his contributions to economics, international relations and tackling climate change.

Knighthood for Professor Paul Preston 

Professor Paul Preston has been knighted in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours. The Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies at LSE was recognised in the diplomatic service and overseas list for his services to UK/Spain relations. Paul Preston is widely celebrated as a leading historian on contemporary Spain and his work is read extensively by audiences in both the UK and Spain – where it has had a large impact.

Ranking successes

London's top university

LSE has retained its place as London’s top university in the Complete University Guide rankings for 2019. The School is ranked third out of the 131 universities assessed in the UK by the guide, and is the top ranked university in London for the seventh consecutive year. LSE is also ranked in the top ten nationally for ten of the 12 subjects it offers.

LSE also continues to be ranked second in the world – and top in the UK and Europe – for social science and management subjects, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject. A rating of universities around the world in a range of areas, this league table placed 13 LSE disciplines in the global top ten.

The School has also been rated as one of the top universities in the world for employer reputation by the 2019 QS World University Rankings, placing eighth in the world in terms of its esteem amongst employers, according to the international league table, with a score of 99.9 out of 100.

In other measures, LSE achieved a maximum score for its proportion of overseas staff and students – 100 out of 100 in both categories – and ranked seventh in the world for international students. Of all the UK universities featured in the QS rankings, LSE was also ranked as top for its research citations per faculty.

New appointments

First Dean for the School of Public Policy

Professor Andrés Velasco joined LSE to become the inaugural Dean of the School of Public Policy. Professor Velasco was the Minister of Finance in Chile between 2006 and 2010 and held professorial roles at the Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia University. He has advised governments around the world.

Professor Velasco commented on his appointment, “I am delighted to be joining LSE, which from its foundation has sought to improve society and public policy-making through teaching and research. We will recruit and train the political and policy leaders of the future.”

New Pro-Director for research announced

LSE has appointed Professor Simon Hix as the next Pro-Director for research.

Professor Hix joins the School Management Committee from the LSE Department of Government and School of Public Policy, where he has been Academic Director since 2017. He has extensive knowledge and experience of LSE both as an academic and as a student, having studied for his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the School.

Commenting on the appointment, LSE Director Minouche Shafik said: “Simon brings an exceptional breadth of experience from his time at the School and as an outstanding academic recognised for world-leading research, all of which will help support LSE’s research vision for the future as part of the School’s new strategy.”

Professor Simon Hix
Professor Simon Hix