After the messy affair that surrounded the resignation of Sir Howard Davies as director, the London School of Economics will hope that the announcement of the appointment of Professor Craig Calhoun this week will see the beginning of a new chapter in the school's history. Despite the rather unseemly controversy of the last few months, the LSE remains one of the most prestigious and world-leading institutions, and a return to academic debate rather than the merits or otherwise of its links with Muammar Gaddafi will be paramount. As I understand it, the final shortlist for the post of director was comprised entirely of international candidates. Calhoun comes from the US, and was born in Watseka, Illinois in
F or a week last March normal life in the London School of Economics was violently disrupted. For nine days and nights students maintained permanent occupation of the lse buildings, braving suspension, police intervention and constant obloquy from almost every newspaper, magazine, television commentator. Classes and lectures were largely boycotted. Under student pressure the administration were forced to keep the School running continuously.
In particular we have a duty to lift up those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and strive for equality of opportunity across all classes. However, too rarely in such conversations do the concepts of life-long learning and adult education come to the forefront. The notion that the decisions you make, or indeed others make for you, when you are a child or young adult should dictate your future path is reflected in ever decreasing numbers of mature and part time students applying to higher education . However, social mobility matters at all ages.
It was really important for us to create a space in which mature students those over 21 when they start their undergraduate programme or over 25 when they start their postgraduate programme could share experiences. The MSS provides a social network for older students and aims to offer low-commitment relief from the stress of studying, working and caring responsibilities. The MSS trip to Cambridge has been a particular highlight this year with 14 students heading to Cambridge for punting, pinicing and a walking tour of the city.