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 and beyond, 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 LSE doing to widen access?

LSE has been committed to widening access for students from all background for over two decades – from pre-entry outreach programmes to our holistic contextual admissions process and a comprehensive financial support package. We’ve made good progress over the last five years – a third of our UK UG students receive a bursary, we’ve narrowed the gap in access for students from the most and least deprived neighbourhoods from 26 percentage points to 10pp in 2021/22 and the proportion of Black students joining LSE matches the young population. There’s more work to be done to improve the diversity of our student community at all levels, through over £15 million in means-tested financial support each year and new initiatives such as our ACE application scheme for specific groups of under-represented PGR applicants.

Contextual admissions

For UK undergraduate students, we use contextual admissions to assess the achievement and potential of our applicants, whilst recognising the challenges they may have faced in their educational or individual circumstances.  As of 2022, all LSE undergraduate programmes are participating in our contextual offers scheme.  This means applicants meeting certain eligibility criteria may receive an offer that is lower than the standard offer for the programme they have applied for, taking into consideration the context in which they have achieved their academic qualifications and their personal circumstances.  

How do WP programmes help?

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.


Our work with schools and colleges

Discover the range of activities available from the Widening Participation team Widening Participation (lse.ac.uk).

Meet us

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.