A group of LSE graduates throw their hats in the air

Widening Participation at LSE

LSE’s pre-entry outreach programme provides free activities for students in London, helping them progress to higher education.

"Continuing to widen access to, and participation in, higher education is of utmost importance to the School"
Jess Bond, Head of LSE Widening Participation

What is the purpose of widening participation (WP) programmes?

There are direct links between under-representation in higher education and broader issues of equity, social inclusion and mobility. LSE has been working to address these for over two decades.

We want the most academically able students to feel that highly selective universities such as LSE are a realistic option. We work with state schools, colleges and sixth forms to raise aspirations and awareness, support attainment and instil confidence to progress to higher education.

Who is eligible?



We work with state-funded schools and colleges. In particular, we focus on students from backgrounds that are under-represented in higher education and/or at competitive institutions, such as LSE.

Our entry criteria are based on national and regional measures, and on LSE’s own information about which demographics are under-represented at the School.

We specifically prioritise care-experienced students in our activity.

Individual programmes and events may have additional eligibility criteria. Please see the relevant programme webpages for details.

Find out about our collaborations.



Which age groups can participate?



We offer primarysecondary and sixth form / college schemes.

Our approach is tailored to the age group we are working with, from giving primary school children a mock graduation to supporting older students with planning their finances.

Our post-16 schemes stretch students in their chosen subject and give them the knowledge and skills to apply to LSE and other highly-selective universities.

Throughout, we aim to instil a love of learning and raise awareness of the benefits of higher education.


What resources are available for teachers?

Advising the Advisers conference
  • LSE offers a range of information for teachers.
  •  Join our mailing list to receive updates on our programmes and events.

  • We usually hold an Advising the Advisers conference each summer, providing guidance on how best to support students throughout the university admissions process. This has been on hold due to the pandemic. 

The Advancing Access Project, a partnership of 24 leading universities, also provides continuing professional development resources and online events for teachers and advisers, to help you support students to make their key stage 4, key stage 5 and university choices. The materials are available at www.advancingaccess.ac.uk.

What resources are available for parents and carers?



LSE offers a range of information for parents and carers.


How are activities funded?


LSE students

All our widening participation programmes and activities are provided free of charge for participating pupils. They are funded by LSE and through the generous support of donors, including the Sutton Trust. We also work in collaboration with a range of charities and other organisations committed to widening access to higher education, such as IntoUniversity, Advancing Access and TeamUp.

Please see our Collaborations page for more information.


How is safety ensured for children and young people?


Teaching LSE

All staff and students involved in our programmes receive appropriate training. Staff or students working directly and regularly with young people on activities receive specific training on working with children, in line with our Safeguarding Guidance and Procedures. They also undergo an appropriate level Disclosure and Barring Service check. Risk assessments for our activities are available on request.


Are there accessibility arrangements in place?


Disability Access at LSE

We aim to make all our activities fully accessible. Please let us know of any access or additional requirements. We are happy to discuss our facilities and how we can best meet participants’ needs. Find out more about accessibility.


How is student data protected?

How are students safeguarded?


students walking

The safety and wellbeing of all children on our LSE WP programmes is essential and all LSE staff and students working for us on LSE WP activities are responsible for safeguarding.

See our safeguarding guidance and procedures document, the staff code of conduct, activity guidance and safeguarding reporting procedures document and the safeguarding concern reporting form.

Photography consent


students walking

The LSE Widening Participation Team would like to use your images (photographs), video recordings and/or audio for possible internal and external promotion of the university and its partners.

Read more about the use of photography, audio and video, and how to let us know if you consent.

How do WP programmes help?


LSE graduates

Our pre-entry outreach programmes help young people understand how to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations. 

Find out more how previous participants have benefited and how we evaluate this.

Meet us


Tower 1, LSE


Our team is dedicated to enabling young people to discover the opportunities open to them. We look forward to meeting you at future events.

Meet the LSE Widening Participation team.


How can I find out more?



Please see our frequently asked questions or contact us.