With 24 heads of government and 13 Nobel laureates among its alumni or staff, the London School of Economics and Political Science is a truly international university with a reputation for excellence.
It boasts students and staff from 152 countries. Half the students come from outside the European Union, just over a third are British and the remaining 15 per cent come from other EU countries. Of the staff, 44 per cent hail from outside the UK; half of these from countries outside the EU.
The LSE has formed international partnerships so students can complete part of their studies at, for example, Columbia University in New York.
The LSE's academic profile spans the social sciences from economics, politics and law, to sociology, information systems and accounting and finance. Some 97 per cent of its academics are active in research. Staff advise governments, serve on royal commissions, public bodies and government inquiries, and are seconded to national and international organisations.
The director of the LSE is Sir Howard Davies, formerly chairman of the Financial Services Authority, deputy governor of the Bank of England and director-general of the Confederation of British Industry.
"The LSE does have a particularly international orientation, not just in the student body but on the faculty. This means that everybody on the faculty is aware of the international dimension - and that keeps them on their toes," Sir Howard said.
"The school has a positive atmosphere. That is because it has been well managed and there has been no financial crisis. Although the LSE doesn't have money to throw around, it has been on an even financial keel, and that creates the right climate for excellence. People are not sitting in their offices wondering whether their job will be there next year - they are getting on with their research."