It was founded by stern Fabian socialists and is best known for being home to the “dismal science”, but the London School of Economics has now been voted the top university in Britain for nightlife.
The party university “elite” has traditionally been dominated by England’s northern cities and Scotland, but in a survey of students that asked undergraduates to list the universities based on the pub, club and music scene, the LSE has shot to the top of the list.
It is the first time that any London institution made the top 15 for nightlife in the survey conducted by the market research company YouthSight. It has not always been so.
Nightlife when the LSE was founded at the turn of the 20th century, by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, probably amounted to a public meeting on the social ills of Britain or discussion on how to bring about a command economy.
Subsequent generations of social scientists appear to have drawn a different conclusion and decided, in the time-honoured tradition of students, to repair to the pub, followed by a dodgy nightclub.
Cambridge was ranked among the bottom for nightlife as was St Andrews, another elite ancient university.
The 4,519 students polled at the beginning of this academic year, who were all in their second year or above, were also asked the best and worst universities for political activity, sport and creativity.
Results were added to those from a similar survey commissioned by the consumer group Which? of 8,053 first-year students last year.
LSE, true to its Fabian roots, was among the top universities for political activism — defined as having a wide range of political societies, meetings and demonstrations that formed a visible part of university life.
Also on that list were the School of Oriental and African Studies and Goldsmiths, both part of the University of London, plus Sussex, Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Those ranked top for sport included the universities of Loughborough, Bath, Durham, Birmingham and Surrey.
The best all-round institutions, that scored well in several categories, were the universities of Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and University College London.
Jenni Allen, university spokeswoman for Which, said: “With tuition fees now averaging nearly £9,000 a year, it’s important that prospective students do their homework, find out everything they need to know about different universities, and weigh up all the options before deciding where they want to study.”
Top universities for social life
1 London School of Economics
2 University of Manchester
3 Newcastle University
4 Liverpool John Moores University
5 Glasgow Caledonian University