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 the widening participation (WP) programme?

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 talented, able students to feel that highly selective universities such as LSE are a realistic option. We work with London 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 non-selective, state funded London schools and colleges, and in particular with students from backgrounds under-represented in higher education and/or at a high-tariff institution 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, alongside students with a disability.

 See our eligibility criteria.

See key information for school and college students.


Which age groups can participate?



We offer primary, secondary 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 academically 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 for further learning and raise awareness of the benefits of continuing in education.


What resources are available for teachers?

Advising the Advisers conference

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?



How are activities funded?


LSE students

All schemes are provided free of charge for schools and colleges. They are fully funded by LSE and through the generous support of private donors: Santander and the Sutton Trust, with support from Deutsche Bank and the Legal Education Foundation.

We also work in collaboration with the Brilliant Club, IntoUniversity, NCOP and the Sutton Trust. Please see our Collaborations page for more information.

Read our Access Agreement and find out more about financial support at LSE.


How is child safety ensured?


Teaching LSE
All staff and students involved in the sessions receive appropriate training before the event. 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 each activity are available on request.


Are there accessibility arrangments 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 so that we can discuss our facilities and how we can best meet participants’ needs. Find out more about accessibility.


How is student data protected?


 How does the programme help?


LSE graduates


Our pre-entry outreach programme helps young people understand how to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations. 90 per cent of the students we surveyed said that our intensive outreach schemes helped support their progression to higher education.

 Find out how previous participants have benefited.


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 and your students on this year’s schemes.

Meet the LSE Widening Participation team


How can I find out more?


 Please see our frequently asked questions or contact us.