In January 2011 the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), whose staff have been awarded 14 Nobel prizes, will open a new center in Majadahonda, a relatively small locality with 66,585 inhabitants, It is the first time that this famous institution has decided to open a school in another country other than the United Kingdom.
Yesterday the President of the Comunidad de Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, together with the Director of the LSE, Howard Davis, placed the first brick of the new building which will be called the Centro Internacional de Estudios Económicos y Sociales – CIEES – (the International Centre for Economic and Social studies). It will be a private centre funded by the Caja Madrid and the Fundación Mapfre.
During his speech yesterday Davis joked saying he hoped that the new centre would help everybody forget the small problem of the Spanish Armada in 1580. Both Davis and Aguirre emphasised the importance of the new bilingual school which will serve as a link between the UK and the rest of the Spanish speaking world.
The new centre will be built on a piece of land measuring 17,000 metres located near to the local railway station.
However, gaining a place to study at CIEES will be very difficult given that there will only be 300 places available for postgraduate studies in Economics, Public Administration and Social Science. Studying at the new centre won’t be cheap. A Master’s degree at the LSE in London which lasts a year currently costs around 9000 euros which doubles if its a two year course. José Antonio Moral Santín, the Director of CIEES and Professor of Economics for the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, said that prices would be similar. However, grants will be available to some students (almost half the students at the LSE receive some sort of grant). He said that only 30% of students would be required to pay all of the fees and another 30% would receive full grants for the cost of their studies.
At present the new centre has the full support of the town hall of Majadahonda, near Madrid, which has conceded the land needed for the construction of the new LSE centre free of charge. Other nearby town halls in Alcobendas and Móstoles also offered to find land for the new centre.
It is expected that the new centre will attract students from all over the World. It is hoped that the centre’s bilingual Spanish/English policy will be a big attraction for not only students from Latin America but also for oriental students. The LSE currently receives a large number of students from China and India.
As well as postgraduate studies the new centre will also have room for some applied research programmes with the help of some top university professors who will visit CIEES to take part in specific courses.
Moral Santín also explained that there will also be a department for consultancy and assessment dedicated exclusively to businesses although he made it clear that CIEES would be different from other well known business schools such as ESADE or IESE.
Plans to open a centre linked to the LSE in Spain go back almost a decade to the end of the nineties when Moral Santín was a lecturer at the LSE. The then director of the LSE, Anthony Giddens, expressed an interest in opening an International centre abroad. Moral Santín proposed Madrid as a possible location for an International centre and in 2005 the project got underway.