Widening Participation at LSE

LSE’s pre-entry Widening Participation programmes provides free activities for students across the UK, 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

LSE's commitment to widening access

LSE has been committed to widening access for students from all backgrounds for over two decades – from pre-entry programmes with school and college pupils 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 students from the UK receive a bursary to support living costs, we’ve narrowed the gap in access for students from the most and least deprived neighbourhoods by 62% from 2016 to 2021 and the proportion of Black students joining LSE now matches the young population across the country.  

There’s more work to be done to improve the diversity of our student community at all levels- which is why we have invested 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 postgraduate research applicants. 

Contextual admissions

For UK undergraduate students we use contextual information to assess the educational achievement and potential of our applicants, whilst recognising the challenges they may have faced in their educational or individual circumstances.  

All LSE undergraduate programmes are now 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.   

Find out more about contextual admissions at LSE. 

Our pre-university work with young people

Discover the range of activities available from the Widening Participation team Widening Participation (


Our work with schools and colleges

Discover the range of activities available from the Widening Participation team Widening Participation (

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.