You did read that correctly and if you have been keeping up with headlines across the pond it should come as no surprise.

Sir Howard Davies, head of the London School of Economics was sacked from his post last week after new news of LSE connections to Libya broke.

Already under fire for accepting a donation of 1.5 million pounds from Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, (former LSE student who allegedly plagiarized his thesis) Sir Howie was the latest global puppet sunk by the Wikileaks torpedo.


U.S. diplomats were told by Libya's "National Economic Development Board" that it was cooperating with "the UK government and the London School of Economics, among other UK institutions, on an exchange program to send 400 'future leaders' of Libya for leadership and management training."

Keep this in mind the next time you decide to trumpet the benefits of high brow educational institutions while tooting your patriotic horns, boys.

Everything's for sale as we already know...not the least of which are prestige and influence.

How acceptable is it in your own backyard? After all, Americans love to think we're impervious to certain ills...

How do you guys feel about the value of your diploma being diminished by administrative prostitution? Wait...maybe I'm wrong. After all, pimpin' ain't easy.

Hoyas For Sale

In another must read, eye popper Claire Berlinski brings the unpleasant conversation back to American shores.

Saudis and other Gulf regimes have poured breathtaking amounts of money into American universities and think tanks since the 1970s. The Saudis spend $4 billion per annum to promote a particular view of Islam. This exceeds the Soviet Union's budget for foreign subversion during the Cold War. A mind-boggling amount goes to funding America's top-tier universities, and of course this has an influence.

In 2005, Georgetown accepted a $20 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The same guy rejected by then NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani post-9/11.

So what... right?

Business as usual? Move along citizen? Nothing to see here?

What is the real value of a diploma?

I asked you guys about prep schools last week. Isn't this an interesting dash of spice to that discussion?

Is there more to an academic institution than test scores and the alumni network?

Does the gilded path really lead towards riches? Or is it actually... mo' money, mo' problems?

Self thread jack. Approved. R.I.P... B.I.G. March 9th. 14 years today. Moment of silence.

Damn, time flies...


Does it really do our profession a service that such a huge target has such a huge Petrodollar influence pumping through its veins?

Can a professed source of intellectual development be trusted to educate, when it's own ideological leanings wear a steady style for sale signs.

Is a brand new set of HD monitors or a top-of-the-line faculty lounge worth the price of foreign interest in our education?

Maybe I am being naive...

But I just cannot accept the notion that higher education should go to the highest bidder.

Remember these words the next time we elect another Harvard man into the White House...

NOTE: For those interested in a detailed work up of foreign fiscal influence in British higher academia, here's an in depth report. I am not sure I want to see the American version.

Comments (8)


They don't call it the London School of Extremism for nothing: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article69...
Its an ugly place with too many ugly people...


Its an ugly place with too many ugly people...

Yes while it is well known that the LSE does not have the prettiest women on campus, it is unfair to judge the LSE student body based on one extremist preacher.


Everyone has their price. Everything is for sale. End of the day, and I know this is "gay", but I'd rather be a pauper with morals than a prince who can't live with himself.

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author


At the end of the day the only things you have left are your self respect and good name. If you sell them, make sure you ask a high price.


Correction: He resigned. He wasn't sacked.
If its true that Saif Gadhafi's thesis was plagiarised and he was able to buy his way out of it then LSE's reputation may never recover from that stigma. As a current LSE student I know how much my professors emphasise the fact that plagiarism (in essay's/dissertations) could get one expelled. We are reminded this once, atleast every other week.


LSE with the highly publicized resignation (not sacking) of Sir Howard Davies is the perfect scapegoat. Kings College and SOAS had dealings with Libya too but lets keep the shit flying LSE's way, its just too convenient. Davies will be greatly missed, a very inspirational person.


Can't really get the anger if I am being honest. Apparently it's ok for us to sell weapons to Libya but God forbid if one of our universities try to get some money when it's already struggling with money problems and try to improve education


Lunch is for wimps.

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