In the next few months, the LSE and an additional 11 HE institutions which are part of the University of London will undergo formal public consultation by the Department for Education to adopt university status in their own right.
This enables the institutions to be more accurately classified as they already act, as separate legal entities, each awarding its own degrees, hiring its own staff, and having its own students.
City, University of London, King’s College, the LSE and other institutions who chose to undergo this change will still remain members of the federation under the University of London.
The LSE Media Relations Office released a statement on Monday, February 4 reassuring the community that LSE’s legal names will remain the same as well as “degrees awarded, existing or past relationships, programmes of study, contracts or any other undertakings or activities of the London School of Economics and Political Science.”
This change was enabled by the University of London Act 2018, a Private Bill passed through both Houses of Parliament and granted Royal Assent in December. The last reform to the act was in 1994 and defined the member institutions as Colleges within the University of London.
The public consultation phase of the process began on February 4 and will close on March 4. After this, the feedback regarding the institutions which have applied for the status change will be submitted to the Department of Education and Office for Students, which will get back on the feedback in up to 12 weeks. In the meantime, the governing bodies of the 12 member institutions participating in the process, including LSE, have to conduct changes to their schemes of governance according to the status change and submit this to the Privy Council. This whole process is planned to take up rest of this academic year and possibly go into the next Michaelmas term.
Other HE institutions will be able apply for independent university status at any point in the future and adopt university status in their own right in the same way.
By Laura Zampini and Isabella Pojuner