Promoting Potential: Years 8-9

Promoting Potential supports boys from African-Caribbean backgrounds to learn about student life and the subjects available at university.

Since ‘graduating from LSE’, El-Hajj regularly researches college and university courses and has identified where he wants to continue his studies
Nia Bellot

Plans for recruitment of new cohorts for this programme during 2020/21 are currently on hold due to the pandemic. We aim to review our resourcing and update the website as soon as plans for the programme are formalised in due course.

LSE’s Promoting Potential scheme aims to stimulate interest in the social sciences as well as encourage excitement and debate, support formal and informal learning and reach new audiences less engaged with higher education. 

LSE has decided to postpone all public events from 23 March until further notice. Therefore, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone Promoting Potential. We apologise for the inconvenience this postponement will cause but we hope that you understand our reasons for this. We will be in touch with participants with any further information as soon as we can.

Information about LSE’s response to coronavirus can be found online here.

What I thought of Promoting Potential What I thought of Promoting Potential
Share Michael’s experience of the Promoting Potential programme, where boys in Years 8-9 from African-Caribbean backgrounds learn about university life


When and where does the scheme run?

The scheme takes place at LSE for three days over the Easter holidays, with two top-up days later in the year. It is non-residential and runs from 10am to 3.30pm each day.

Students will attend the three-day Spring School and Top- Up days by themselves, however teachers and parents are most welcome to pick them up and drop them off.

What activities are included?

Participants have the opportunity to learn from LSE academics, meet current students and gain an insight into studying at university.

The scheme consists of: 

  • Interactive social science workshops and taster sessions 
  • Opportunities to interact with students from LSE’s African-Caribbean Society
  • Personal branding and motivational workshops
  • An off-site workplace visit – such as to a bank, law firm or court. 

Are there any costs involved?

There is no cost to attend. Lunch is available free of charge each day, all course materials are provided and travel costs are refunded at the end of the three days and each top-up day.

What training do LSE staff receive?

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 Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy. They also undergo an appropriate level Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Who is eligible?

There are 50 places in 2020 available for African and Caribbean heritage boys in year 8 who are attending a non-selective London state school, and who are expected to achieve at least five 9-6 grades at GCSE. Please also see our core eligibility criteria.

How can I find out more and apply?


Applications for the 2019/20 academic year are now closed and will re-open in January 2021.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact

"The benefits have been endless and El-Hajj’s confidence is now sky high. Since ‘graduating from LSE’, he regularly researches college and university courses and has identified where he wants to continue his studies.

He is now enrolled with an IntoUniversity homework club to enhance his learning. Most importantly, El-Hajj has a sense of pride, having experienced this wonderful opportunity."

Nia Bellot, parent of El-Hajj James, Year 8, Promoting Potential participant

Cancellation Policy

Please note that as a result of circumstances or events outside of our control (known as a Force Majeure event), which includes but is not limited to industrial action, official government advice, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises, we may need to cancel an event at short notice.

In the event of a cancellation, a change of venue or date, we will endeavour to notify attendees wherever possible through the contact details given at the time of booking. For the avoidance of doubt, the School will not be liable for any costs you may incur as a result of any cancellation, change of venue or date.