LSE announces reforms amid allegations of sexual misconduct and student calls for change

By Chenoa Colaco and Amadea Hofmann

The LSE community has responded to an investigation conducted by The Beaver, published on 6 March, detailing alleged incidents of sexual misconduct and victimisation within a department at LSE. 

The article was widely shared on X, with many academics from various UK universities, as well as past and current LSE faculty members, speaking out against the systemic issues in academia that sexual misconduct survivors face. 

Following the article’s publication, academics from three separate LSE departments have contacted The Beaver to share previously unreported instances of the university mishandling sexual misconduct allegations.

Two external examiners have resigned from an LSE department in response to the allegations reported by The Beaver, arguing that they cannot endorse the academic integrity of the department’s processes. Members of the Gender Studies department have also reached out to The Beaver with a letter of solidarity, saying that “senior management must take responsibility for their oversight of the learning and working conditions at the LSE and address a growing crisis of confidence.”

The student advocacy group LSESU HandsOff launched a petition demanding a public independent review of LSE’s sexual misconduct procedures, as well as a formal apology from the School to be sent to all affected staff and students. As of March 2024, the petition has amassed over 1,500 signatures.

LSESU HandsOff also organised two university-wide protests on 15 March and 27 March. The latter was held in collaboration with female LSE academics and the Gender Equality Forum. 

Zarina Huq, a committee member of LSESU HandsOff and co-organiser of the protests, said, “We were very grateful to have so many people turn up outside CBG to rally together in solidarity. During the protest, we had a range of speakers from across the student body.

“We hope that from both protests and the petition,” Huq added. “We have created a space where students and staff can come together to place pressure on the School for structural change.”

Academic representatives in an LSE department have conducted a survey to inquire whether undergraduate students would choose not to work with a professor or supervisor based on prior allegations or investigations. 

Out of 91 responses, 96% of students stated that they believe the department should let students know when professors are investigated for sexual misconduct and 90% said they might use this information to decide what courses or supervisors to select in the future. 

In response to the reception of The Beaver article, meetings were held with students throughout March. A postgraduate meeting was initially cancelled in favour of “fuller written communication,” but following student complaints, it was instead rescheduled. The staff-student meetings outlined the changes that LSE will be implementing as preventative measures. As per policy, they were not permitted to comment on individual cases.

On 27 March, Eric Neumayer, LSE Interim President and Vice Chancellor, sent out a university-wide email acknowledging that “there has been much concern, upset and anger focused on how LSE deals with allegations of misconduct.” He then detailed the institutional reforms LSE will undertake, including replacing the current LSE “Report it. Stop it.” policy with the “Report + Support system,” by the beginning of next academic year. 

Neumayer also announced that LSE will publish “regular reports to give numbers and high-level data about reported cases and – where possible –  information about outcomes” to rebuild community trust. The first report is expected to be published in April 2024. 

Additionally, the university plans to hire an in-house senior General Counsel who will develop and oversee the implementation of systems to address sexual and other forms of harassment. 

Neumayer noted that a “pre-planned audit is currently happening in the area of sexual misconduct.” Following the completion of the audit, LSE will “share how [the Senior Management Committee] plans to address these findings.”

LSESU HandsOff member Charlotte Lewis raised concerns that the audit does not sufficiently meet the petition’s request for an independent review. She remarked that KPMG, the consulting firm conducting the audit, lacks expertise in handling sexual violence policy and has faced multiple sexual misconduct allegations themselves. 

Lewis described the email as a “botched attempt at silencing those who signed the petition” and said that LSESU HandsOff will continue to campaign for an “expert-informed independent review.”

In a statement, an LSE spokesperson said: 

“As previously reported, we have reviewed our processes around reports of sexual misconduct.  A number of improvements are currently being taken forward to bring our approach into line with best practice.

“Alongside other measures, we are implementing a new ‘report and support system’, which will enable us to address issues more quickly and consistently; we plan to make greater use of external investigators in the future and we have employed a specialist member of staff with expertise in sexual misconduct and violence.

“LSE is committed to a working and learning environment where people can achieve their full potential free of all types of harassment and violence. We take reports of sexual harassment extremely seriously and encourage any member of the LSE community who has experienced or witnessed this to get in touch via one of our many channels, which allow students and staff to make anonymous reports and access specialist support.”

If any of these issues have affected you, please know you are not alone.

You can speak to a Safe Contact, an LSE staff member who is disclosure training and can offer confidential signposting for staff and students:

A full list of support from the LSESU is available here:

Help you can get outside of LSE:

The Havens: helps those who have been raped or sexually assaulted in the past 12 months. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for an initial assessment. Provides forensic medical examination. Gives follow-up care including counselling, testing and treatments.

Phone: 020 3299 6900

Note: counselling service has a long waiting list. So, it might take a while for victims to receive emotional support.

Sexual Assault Helplines

National Rape Crisis Helpline: 080 802 9999 (open from 12-2:30 pm and 7-9:30pm every day of the year)

Survivors UK: support for male-identified victims of sexual violence –

Galop: LGBT+ anti-violence organization that provides support for LGBT+ people who experienced sexual assault or violence 

Chenoa and Amadea report on all action that has been taken by the LSE community following a Beaver investigation covering allegations of sexual violence.


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