London School of Economics:
"The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a world class centre for its concentration of teaching and research across the full range of the social, political and economic sciences. Founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, LSE has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence.
LSE is an unusual university. Few university institutions in the world are as international. The study of social, economic and political problems covers not only the UK and European Union, but also countries of every continent. From its foundation LSE has aimed to be a laboratory of the social sciences, a place where ideas are developed, analysed, evaluated and disseminated around the globe.
Thirteen Nobel Prize winners in economics, literature and peace have been either LSE staff or alumni: George Bernard Shaw (1925), Ralph Bunche (1950), Bertrand Russell (1950), Philip Noel-Baker (1959), Sir John Hicks (1972), Friedrich von Hayek (1974), James Meade (1977), Arthur Lewis (1979), Merton Miller (1990), Ronald Coase (1991), Amartya Sen (1998), Robert Mundell (1999) and George Akerlof (2001).
The School has more than 62,000 registered alumni. Around 28 past or present heads of state have studied at LSE, and 30 members of the House of Commons and 34 members of the House of Lords have either studied or taught at LSE.
The School teaches through 18 academic departments and five interdisciplinary institutes. At postgraduate level, the Graduate School offers a wide range of taught master's programmes (MA, MSc and LLM) normally of one academic or calendar year full-time study, or two years' part-time. Research programmes for MPhil or PhD degrees are offered by all departments and institutes. Programmes for LSE's own diploma qualification are also available either as conversion courses or to extend the depth or range of undergraduate studies. Language teaching is provided through the Language Centre, both as a degree option, and to learn or improve a language.
LSE is responsible for the University of London's External Programme in economics, management, finance and social sciences. External students undertake study in their own countries, based on course structures and content set by LSE staff. Currently there are around 9,000 students studying in 136 countries. Some students go on to study programmes at LSE
Summer Schools provide an opportunity to experience life at LSE. The programme takes place in London between July and August, and in Bangkok in April. Courses are intensively taught over three weeks and examined to the standards of comparable LSE courses. Winter and Summer Schools are provided for young people in secondary education, along with a student shadowing scheme, as part of LSE's commitment to widening participation in higher education among young people who might not otherwise have considered studying for a university degree.
The national Quality Assessment Agency (QAA) regularly inspects teaching quality across UK universities. Of those subject areas assessed at LSE since 1999 the following areas were approved - economics, mathematics (including the Statistics Department), philosophy, politics (covering the Departments of Government and International Relations, the Development Studies and European Institutes), psychology, management (with Industrial Relations). All achieved a score of 22 or above, regarded as excellent, with management awarded 24, the highest rating possible.
The School is a world centre for advanced research. In the 2001 UK Research Assessment Exercise carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council, the School's research was rated second among around 200 universities and colleges. LSE submitted 97 per cent of its staff for assessment, more than any other UK university.
There are currently over 30 active research centres and units at the School, ranging from large multidisciplinary centres with substantial financial support to small centres with more modest resources. Most of LSE's research centres and units are financed by industry, commerce, research councils or charitable foundations. There are four centres funded mainly by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Others are funded through public or private partnerships; for example, funders for the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation include the ESRC, Deutsche Bank, Aon and BP.
LSE's new Research Lab is the base for more than 260 staff - one of the largest concentrations of applied economic, financial and social researchers anywhere in the world. The Lab is housed above the Library, and includes the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, Centre for Economic Performance, Financial Markets Group and the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines.
Students and staff
LSE has a cosmopolitan staff and student body, located within an urban, city centre campus. There are nearly 7,000 full-time students and around 750 part-time students at LSE. Of these about 38 per cent come from the UK, 18 per cent from other European Union countries and 44 per cent from more than 120 countries around the world. 48 per cent are women and 52 per cent are postgraduates.
LSE has over 1,300 full-time members of staff - 97 per cent of the academic staff are actively engaged in research, and 44 per cent are from countries other than the UK, half of these from European Union states, the remaining half from other nations around the world.
The School maintains close links with government, industry and the professions (many of which are situated close by in the city of London), through public meetings and seminar programmes concerned with the dissemination of research findings in the context of public policy. Many staff are also actively engaged in policy development through membership of advisory bodies such as the Urban Task Force, Monetary Policy Committee, Low Pay Commission and the Press Complaints Commission.
Organisation and governance
Professor Anthony Giddens is Director of the School. He is supported by three deputy directors, appointed for three or four years at a time, who deputise when the Director is away and assist him in various aspects of his work. The current Deputy Directors are Professor Stephen Hill, Professor Judith Rees and Dr Ray Richardson. The Secretary and Director of Administration of the School, Dr Christine Challis, has overall responsibility to the Director as Secretary of the Council, Clerk of the Court and Company Secretary. She is responsible for the services provided by the Central Administration.
There are three other central services. Jean Sykes, as Librarian and Director of Information Services, is responsible for the Library and Information Technology Services. There is also an LSE Health Service; a Careers Service; and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations which is responsible for fund-raising and alumni relations.
The governing body is the Council, responsible for determining strategy and its members are company directors of the School. The Court of governors deals with some constitutional matters and has influence in the School through pre-decision discussions on key policy issues and the involvement of individual governors in the School's activities. Lord Grabiner of Aldwych, QC, chairs both bodies.
The Academic Board is the principal academic body, which considers all major issues of general policy affecting the academic life of the School and its development. It is chaired by the Director, with staff and student membership.
There are a number of committees of the Council, Court and the Academic Board, and others, which are advisory to the Director. The principal committee of the Council is the Finance and General Purposes Committee, which advises about financial matters, scrutinises the Strategic Plan, and is responsible for risk assessment. The Academic Planning and Resources Committee (APRC), is responsible for resource allocation within the School and for regular reviews of academic departments and organisational units.
The Library and IT
The Library of the School is the largest in the world devoted exclusively to the social sciences. Founded a year after the School, it is also known as the British Library of Political and Economic Science and provides a specialist national and international research collection. In 2001 architects Foster and Partners redeveloped the Lionel Robbins Building, which houses the Library, into a modern, energy efficient and visually stunning space.
The Library collects material on a worldwide basis, in all major European languages. The extensive collections range from a European Documentation Centre to 90,000 historical pamphlets, with over 95 per cent of Library stock available on open access. 50 kilometres of shelving - enough to stretch the length of the Channel Tunnel! - accommodate over four million printed items including 31,000 past and present journal titles. The Library subscribes to approximately 3,000 e-journals, as part of its electronic information provision.
The Library has some of the longest opening hours of any university library in Britain.
A high-speed network interconnects all the School's computers, providing access to a wide range of software, as well as advanced research and teaching software.
Through the network, electronic mail, remote log-in facilities and file transfers are available to all UK and most European and North American universities, and many others throughout the world. Access is provided to a wide range of databases and information sources, through CD-ROM, online databases and other routes. In the Library itself there are 1,600 study places of which 490 have networked PCs and 226 offer laptop drop-in points."www.lse.edu