The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the foremost social science universities in the world. LSE is a specialist university with an international intake and a global reach. Its research and teaching span the full breadth of the social sciences, from economics, politics and law to sociology, anthropology, accounting and finance. Founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, the School has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence. 16 Nobel prize winners have been LSE staff or alumni. In 2008 LSE's outstanding success in the Research Assessment Exercise confirmed it as a world leading research university. The School had the highest percentage of world leading research of any university in the UK, topping or coming close to the top of a number of rankings of research excellence. LSE offers a very wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the social sciences. Teaching is carried out through academic departments and interdisciplinary institutes, and in partnership with internationally renowned higher education institutions. Set up to improve society and to "understand the causes of things", LSE has always put engagement with the wider world at the heart of its mission. From its location in the heart of London, the School links communities across the world, from formal academic partnerships to advisory work with governments and international organisations.