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LSE head resigns over Libyan ties

School accepted £2.2 million to train civil servants


 

The head of the London School of Economics resigned this week over growing controversy about the school’s relationship with the Libyan government.

Following student protests last week, the school decided to stop accepting any further payments from the Gadhafi International Charity and Development Foundation, which donated £ 1.5 million to the school in 2009. LSE has set aside £300,000, equivalent to the amount already received from the foundation, to establish a scholarship fund for Libyan students.

However, new revelations have brought to light the fact LSE received £2.2 million to educate and train several hundred Libyans who would become part of the country’s governing elite as civil servants and professionals. The deal was made public Thursday through a Wikileaks cable that mentioned other British and American universities who had similar arrangements with Libya.

Responding to the leaked memos, LSE director Sir Howard Davies said he would leave his post in order to protect the school’s reputation. “I have concluded that it would be right for me to step down even though I know that this will cause difficulty for the institution I have come to love. The short point is that I am responsible for the school’s reputation, and that has suffered,” he said in statement released by the institution.

LSE’s governing council has commissioned an independent inquiry to examine ties with Libya and make recommendations on how the school should deal with foreign governments.


 
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