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London School of Economics

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The London School of Economics and Political Science, often called the London School of Economics or the LSE, is one of the world's major specialist universities in economics and social sciences. It may have had a larger impact on the shape of the modern political world than any other university institution. The LSE is a constituent college of the federal University of London. As the chairman of five trustees, the LSE was founded in 1895 by Sidney Webb, after an eccentric Derby solicitor and member of the Fabian Society, Henry Hunt Hutchinson, bequeathed £10,000 following his death in 1894. Webb and his wife, Beatrice Webb, are generally considered the founders of the school, alongside the Fabians.

The LSE, Old Building
The LSE, Old Building

The London School of Economics and Political Science is located on Houghton Street in London, off the Aldwych and next to the Royal Courts of Justice. The school is regarded as a major center of political debate. LSE alumni and former staff include thirteen Nobel Prize winners in Economics, Peace or Literature; around thirty-three past or present heads of state or heads of government, thirty current British MPs and twenty-nine current peers of the House of Lords. A quarter of all the Nobel Prizes in Economics have been connected with the London School of Economics in one way or another, and the School is also regarded as a pacemaker in the study of law, international relations, social philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and social policy. The main library of the LSE is called the British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES), and is the world's largest library dedicated to the social sciences.

The LSE also has a very active and prominent student newspaper, The Beaver, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, as well as other prominent media outlets such as PuLSE Radio and The Script .

The LSE has nearly 7,000 full-time students and around 750 part-time students. Of these, 38% come from the United Kingdom, 18% from other European Union countries and 44% from more than 120 other countries. Around 48% are women and 52% are postgraduates. Courses are taught in over thirty research departments and eighteen departments, including Accounting and Finance, Anthropology, Economic History, Economics, Geography and Environment, Government, Industrial Relations , Information Systems, International History , International Relations, Law, Mathematics, Media and Communications, Operational Research, Philosophy Logic and Scientific Method, Social Policy , Social Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics.

League tables published by British newspapers consistently rank the LSE as one of the top four academic institutions in the country. In November 2004 the LSE was ranked the 11th best university in the world by the THES world league table of universities. In the same paper in December 2004 it was reported that in social science category the LSE is the second best university in the world.


George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and Clement Attlee were among those involved in the school in the years following its founding. The school often served as the intellectual hub for the Labour Party in the years following its founding in 1900. Conversely, Friedrich von Hayek and Michael Oakeshott also later taught at the university. Other notable faculty members included William Beveridge and Karl Popper.

The school maintained an unmatched level of academic prestige in the 1960s and 1970s - the faculty included such notables as Amartya Sen, George Akerlof, James Meade, Robert Mundell, Sir John Hicks, and Merton Miller, all of whom won Nobel Prizes. During the late 1960s the school also became know for its leftwing student activism with the LSE Students Union being one of the most radical in the UK.

Noted alumni/academics

Heads of State/Heads of Government

Other Prominent Alumni/Professors

External links

Last updated: 10-12-2005 17:13:55
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