LSE expands to accommodate growth in student numbers

February 23, 2007

The London School of Economics is to construct a multimillion-pound building as student numbers shoot up.

The £63 million New Academic Building will house four lecture theatres, 16 seminar rooms and quiet study spaces.

The LSE is engaged in a programme of "accelerated growth" and plans to expand to 9,000 full-time students by 2012.

There are currently 8,139 full-time students, which represents a rise of 17 per cent since 2001-02. Of the student body, 46 per cent are undergraduates and 54 per cent postgraduates, and about half are home students and half from abroad.

To accommodate the growth, the LSE acquired the former Public Trustees Office on Kingsway for £18 million in October 2004.

Julian Robinson, LSE director of planning and development, said the site had been designed to help cope with the projected growth in student numbers and to improve the quality of the school's estate.

"In terms of value, it is the biggest building project the school has undertaken to date," he said. "We have some substandard buildings that need refurbishment or pulling down, and this will free up space for us to do that," he said.

The department of law will be rehoused in the New Academic Building, which will also accommodate the new management department.

The site, which is on target for completion in summer 2008, will add 12,670 square metres of space to LSE's confined central London site and will give the LSE a prominent public face on Kingsway.

Mr Robinson said the building - which is funded from reserves, fundraising and grants from the Higher Education Funding Council for England - would be of the highest environmental standard.

The LSE receives one of the highest number of undergraduate applications per place of all UK universities. It had a surplus of £13.7 million in the last financial year, and its reserves have more than doubled over five years. More than 90 per cent of its fee income is generated from masters and overseas students.

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